For most part of last year, Pakistan struggled to find a stable opening pair and results didn't come their way. During South African series in UAE, Mohammad Hafeez showed signs of taking the reponsibility with some fine knocks but other opener's slot remained vacant. Now today, Ahmed Shehzad scored his maiden century after looking good in previous matches which raises hopes he can partner Hafeez for a long time to come but in any case, his century made sure Pakistan take inaccessible lead of 3-1 in this 6 ODI series with just one game remaining..
Pakistan were inserted in to bat first and Hafeez was out finally in the 7th after negotiating some good deliveries bowled by Kiwi new ball bowlers and then, Kamran Akmal contributed just 17 out of 53 run stand with Shehzad who imposed himself on the bowling, reaching his half century off 56 balls. Younis Khan and then Misbah-ul-Haq rotated the strike as their younger mate kept the score board tickling from other end. Shehwad reached his century off just 101 balls. Shahid Afridi and Umar Akmal accelerated the innings near the end.
New zealand's chase lost Jesse Ryder off the first ball, through a direct hit from Misbah-ul-haq and then Jamie How couldn't get going against a fired up Shoaib Akhtar who had sat out previous three games. Ross Taylor and Martin Guptill scored their sixties and added 59 between them but home team failed to find any other significant partnership and ended up losing the match earily by 41 runs.
This is the first time in 17 years that Pakistan have won a one day series in New Zealand and first time they've won both test & ODI series on same tour.
Man of the match = Ahmed Shehzad.
Scorecard : Pakistan v New Zealand, 5th ODI, Hamilton : 3 Feb 2011 :-