Pakistan vs New Zealand 4th ODI: New Zealand skirt past Pakistan behind Williamson’s century

Williamson was named Man of the Match for his spectacular century

Williamson was named Man of the Match for his spectacular century

Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo

New Zealand stand-in captain Kane Williamson smashed a glorious century to help his side skirt past Pakistan by seven runs in the fourth ODI in Abu Dhabi.

Williamson was well supported by opener Martin Guptill, who made 58.

However, Pakistan batsman Younis Khan deserves a lot of credit for his valiant century.

Williamson would have been pleased with his decision to bat first after Guptill and Dean Brownlie amassed an 81-run partnership before Brownlie was caught by Umar Akmal at short midwicket off the bowling of Pakistan skipper Shahid Afridi for 42.

Guptill went on to score 58 off 78 balls, which included seven boundaries, before he was caught behind off the bowling of Sohail Tanvir.

Guptill hit seven boundaries during his knock of 58

Guptill hit seven boundaries during his knock of 58

Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo

Williamson and Ross Taylor stabilised the innings with a 63-run partnership, during which Williamson brought up his half-century, before Taylor was caught behind off the bowling of Mohammad Irfan for 26.

Corey Anderson scored 23 runs before he was caught by Akmal at long-on off the bowling of Anwar Ali.

Williamson and Tom Latham put together a 72-run partnership, during which Williamson registered his fourth ODI century, before he was clean bowled by Mohammad Irfan off the last ball of the innings.

Williamson’s excellent knock of 123 came off 105 balls and included 12 boundaries.

Thanks to Williamson, New Zealand finished on 299/5 off their 50 overs.

Irfan was the pick of the bowlers with two wickets, while Tanvir, Ali and Afridi chipped in with one wicket apiece.

Chasing 300 to win, Pakistan got off to an awful start as it only took four balls for pace bowler Matt Henry to clean bowl Ahmed Shehzad for a duck.

Nasir Jamshed managed to make 30 runs before he was given out lbw off the bowling of Anderson.

Mohammad Hafeez only made three runs before he was caught behind off the bowling of Daniel Vettori.

Haris Sohail mustered 14 runs before he was caught by Latham at long-on off the bowling of Vettori.

Khan and Akmal stabilised the innings with a 90-run partnership, during which Khan brought up his half-century, before Akmal was run out by Mitchell McClenaghan for 29.

Khan and Afridi kept the runs flowing with a 66-run partnership before Afridi was caught behind off the bowling of Adam Milne for 49.

Khan ended up scoring his seventh ODI century before he was clean bowled by Vettori.

Khan’s sparkling knock of 103 came off 117 balls and included four boundaries and two sixes.

Khan's seventh ODI century went in vain

Khan’s seventh ODI century went in vain

Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo

Sarfraz Ahmed made 18 runs before he was caught behind off the bowling of McClenaghan.

Despite Tanvir and Ali putting together an unbeaten 31-run partnership, Pakistan still ended up falling seven runs short of their target.

Vettori was the most successful bowler with three wickets, while McClenaghan, Henry, Milne and Anderson claimed one wicket each.

Afridi was gutted to have lost the match, and said: “We tried to do our best so that we could win and try and lessen the grief of the families affected by the Peshawar attacks as much as possible. I was very happy to see Younis Khan’s batting. The fielding and the bowling aspects are still of concern to us but the batting has always been strong and that is a positive for us.”

Williamson, who was named Man of the Match, was pleased to have levelled the series at 2-2, and said: “It was just about executing the plans we had, and just trying to build partnerships. It’s such a big ground that you can score freely. They made it quite difficult and it was great to come back with the ball in the second part of the Pakistan innings. Whenever you play in different parts of the world you adapt your game and maybe we’ve been here so long, I’m getting used to playing like [a subcontinent batsman]. Its important, we look at the final game as a one-off. [We need to] recover quickly and get back out there. Pakistan kept coming, they showed consistently how good they are. To have 300 on the board on a wicket that was tiring, they pushed us and it was nice to pick up some timely wickets at the end and close it out.”

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