Pakistan vs New Zealand 3rd ODI: Shehzad and Afridi demolish New Zealand

Shehzad was named Man of the Match for his superb century

Shehzad was named Man of the Match for his superb century

Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo

Pakistan opener Ahmed Shehzad scored a scintillating century and took his first ODI wicket to help his side demolish New Zealand by 147 runs in the third ODI in Sharjah.

Shehzad was brilliantly supported by stand-in captain Shahid Afridi, who hammered 58 runs and took three wickets.

Afridi would have been pleased with his decision to bat first after Mohammad Hafeez and Shehzad amassed a 63-run partnership before Hafeez was caught behind off the bowling of Corey Anderson for 33.

Shehzad and Younis Khan kept the runs flowing with a 70-run partnership, during which Shehzad brought up his half-century, before Khan was caught by Anderson at long-on off the bowling of Nathan McCullum for 35.

Pakistan’s dominance with the bat continued as Shehzad and Asad Shafiq put together a 77-run partnership, during which Shehzad registered his sixth ODI century, before he was caught by New Zealand captain Kane Williamson at mid-off off the bowling of Matt Henry.

Shehzad’s superb knock of 113 came off 120 balls and included 12 boundaries and two sixes.

Henry struck again the very next ball when he clean bowled Shafiq for 23.

Haris Sohail and Afridi stabilised the innings with a 89-run partnership before Sohail was caught by Williamson at mid-off off the bowling of Henry for 39.

Umar Akmal failed to trouble the scorers as he was run out by Martin Guptill for a golden duck.

Afridi went on to score 55 off 26 balls, which included six boundaries and three sixes, before he was caught by Williamson at extra cover off the bowling of Mitchell McClenaghan.

Thanks to an unbeaten 51-run partnership between Sarfraz Ahmed and Sohail Tanvir, Pakistan finished on 364/7 off their 50 overs. Not only was this their highest score against New Zealand in ODI history, but it was also the highest total made in Sharjah.

Ahmed ended up scoring 30 off 14 balls, which included four boundaries and a six, while Tanvir remained undefeated on 17 off nine deliveries, which included two sixes.

Henry was the pick of the bowlers with three wickets, while McClenaghan, McCullum and Anderson chipped in with one wicket apiece.

Chasing a mammoth total of 365 to win, New Zealand got off to a horrible start as opening batsman Anton Devcich was caught behind off the bowling of Mohammad Irfan for a duck.

Guptill only made 12 runs before he was caught by Afridi off the bowling of Irfan.

Ross Taylor managed to make 31 runs before he was clean bowled by Afridi.

Williamson top-scored with 46, which came off 52 balls and included six boundaries, before he was caught and bowled by Sohail.

Williamson was New Zealand's top-scorer with 46 runs

Williamson was New Zealand’s top-scorer with 46 runs

Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo

Anderson mustered 19 runs before he was caught by Afridi at mid-on off the bowling of Wahab Riaz.

Tom Latham scored 34 runs before he was caught by Riaz at deep backward square leg to give Shehzad his first ODI wicket.

James Neesham failed to have an impact with the bat as he scored two runs before he was caught by Riaz at mid-off off the bowling of Sohail.

McCullum accumulated 15 runs before he was caught by Khan at cover off the bowling of Sohail.

Henry made one run before he was cleaned up by Afridi.

New Zealand were put out of their misery on 217 when Luke Ronchi was clean bowled by Afridi for 41.

Afridi and Sohail snapped up three wickets apiece, while Irfan took two and Shehzad and Riaz claimed one wicket each.

Afridi excelled with both the bat and ball

Afridi excelled with both the bat and ball

Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo

Williamson was disappointed with his side’s performance, and said: “You could look at different areas but Pakistan batted brilliantly from start to finish. They hit a lot of boundaries and got a lot of balls from the middle. Our performance wasn’t up to par. We didn’t execute our plans well. We didn’t get quite the height on our short balls. We are now going on to a different surface so we need to improve.”

Afridi was ecstatic to have taken a 2-1 lead in the series, and said: “Our strength is aggression. The only way of defence should be aggression. Everyone imbibed that. Batsmen played their part, bowlers played theirs. We were in a good position, so I came up the order to take advantage of the powerplay. Every game is a new game, so you have to keep repeating performances like this because we know New Zealand will want to come back hard. I have almost grown up in Sharjah. So thanks to the organisers and the crowd here.”

Shehzad was named Man of the Match, and said: “I have been hitting the ball throughout but the finishing touch was missing. But watching Hafeez, I got a lot of confidence. The pitch here doesn’t bounce much – last match was a bit surprising – but I worked hard with the coaches to work on those areas.”

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