It's amazing how frequently we sports writers use the word "consolation". It indeed shows our limited vacubalary but it also asserts that we human tend to deaccelerate once motivation is gone. In a bilateral series, dominating teams often soften up once they've taken inaccessible lead and lose the dead rubber. Today, Pakistan gave another example of it by conceeding this Eden Park encounter by healthy margin of 57 but ended up similing on the podium thanks to 3-1 series lead they had came to Auckland with..
Jesse Ryder was asked to bat at no.3 today as Brendon McCullum was once again promoted as opener after trying out middle order slot in previous games in the series. McCullum played one good shot, six traight over Sohail Tanvir's head dancing dancing down the track but perished trying to repeat the same the next ball. Jesse Ryder took the center stage and looked in sublime touch, flicking and forcefully driving on the up. Tanvir was targetted bowler by the Kiwis and Ryder used his license well to race to his half century off just 34 balls.
It isn't easy for a batsman to slow down once they've began with a flourish but Ryder did so, raising his century from 82 balls and setting the platform for a total well in excess of run a ball. Scott Styris and Nathan McCullum put on 120 runs for the 6th wicket.
Pakistan, as mentioned above, weren't looking hungry as series was already in bag. Kamran Akmal had found ways of soft dismissals throughout this series but today almost everything hit sweetest spot of his bat and he looked like matching Ryder's show in first innings. but, it wasn't to be. Shahid Afridi rejoiced his appointment as Pakistan's captain for world cup 2011 with a brisk 35 ball knock but match was already gone and series already won.
Man of the match : Jesse Ryder.
Scorecard : New Zealand v Pakistan, 6th ODI, 5 February 2011 :-