Misbah-ul-Haq was a surprize pick by Pakistan selectors to lead them in test series against South Africa couple of month away as he wasn't even in team for most past of year 2010 but upon his comeback, right hander vetern has done well. so well, that he's utterly close to be named as captain of Pakistan for the world cup ahead of Shahid Afridi. Today, Misbah did himself a huge favour by driving his team home with a crucial unbeaten knock in which he couldn't raise his maiden ODI century but made sure Pakistan take 2-1 lead in the series with 2 more games to go.
Misbah-ul-Haq joined Younus Khan after Kiwis had taken 3 wickets for 84 runs on board but these two experienced soldiers set the foundation for the case with 89 run partnership. Younus was run out and few more wickets fell late in the match but Misbah's patience paid off.
Earlier, New Zealand elected to bat and were off to relatively good start with openers putting on 40 better than run a ball but Wahab Riaz for two wickets in two overs to make an opening for visiting side and soon Kiwis were five down for less than 80 runs on board. Fightback started in form of James Franklin and Brendon McCullum as they added vital 62 runs for 6th wicket and then Nathan McCullum scored a fine half century to take home team past 250 run mark.
Pakistan gave away 33 extras, which didn't help either.
Man of the match : Misbah-ul-Haq.
Scorecard : Pakistan v New Zealand, 4th ODI, Napier, 1 February 2011 :-