New Zealand vs Pakistan 1st ODI: Williamson’s 115 puts New Zealand 1-0 up

Kane Williamson 10th century New Zealand Pakistan 1st ODI cricket

Kane Williamson celebrates after scoring his 10th ODI century

Image courtesy of: Zimbio

New Zealand captain Kane Williamson led by example with a stunning 115 as the Black Caps cruised to a 61-run win via the Duckworth-Lewis-Stern method in a rain-affected match in Wellington.

Being put in to bat first, New Zealand openers Martin Guptill and Colin Munro ensured their side started on a high as they amassed an 83-run partnership, during which Munro brought up his fifty.

Colin Munro fifty New Zealand Pakistan 1st ODI cricket

Colin Munro continued his run of fine form with his fifth ODI fifty

Image courtesy of: Zimbio

However, not long after, he was on his way back to the pavilion as he was caught behind off the bowling of Hasan Ali for 58, which came off 35 balls and included six boundaries and two sixes.

Guptill and Williamson kept the runs flowing with a 73-run stand before Guptill was dismissed by Fakhar Zaman for 48.

Ross Taylor and Tom Latham fell shortly after, but Williamson and Henry Nicholls halted Pakistan’s fightback with a 90-run partnership, during which Williamson surpassed his hundred.

With the innings coming to an end, Williamson tried to up the ante, but was eventually caught by Hasan at extra cover off the bowling of Rumman Raees for 115 off 117 deliveries, which included eight boundaries and a six.

Nicholls went on to score a 43-ball fifty, which included four boundaries, as New Zealand finished on 315/7 off their 50 overs.

Henry Nicholls half-century New Zealand Pakistan 1st ODI cricket

Henry Nicholls struck his fourth half-century in ODI cricket

Image courtesy of: Zimbio

Hasan was the pick of the bowlers with three wickets, while Raees, Zaman, Mohammad Amir and Faheem Ashraf chipped in with one wicket apiece.

Chasing 316 to win, Pakistan made a horrible start to their innings as Tim Southee removed Azhar Ali, bowled a wide, and then proceeded to take out Babar Azam.

Both batsmen were trapped lbw, but Azhar used the only review Pakistan had. Since it didn’t save him, Azam couldn’t call for a review when he was given out lbw. However, had the review been available, Azam would have been able to overturn the decision against him as replays showed that the ball was going over the stumps.

Things went from bad to worse for the tourists as Mohammad Hafeez was caught by Southee at backward square leg off the bowling of Trent Boult for one run.

Captain Sarfraz Ahmed failed to have an impact with the bat as well, but Zaman and Shadab Khan stemmed the flow of wickets with a 78-run partnership, during which Zaman sailed past his fifty, before Shadab was caught behind off the bowling of Boult for 28.

Shortly after, the rain came. Since it refused to relent, the umpires had no choice but to bring the match to an end.

As a result, Zaman finished on 82 off 86 balls, which included five boundaries and four sixes, while Ashraf remained unbeaten on 17 off 12 deliveries, which included two boundaries and a six.

Southee was the most successful bowler with three wickets, while Boult took two and Todd Astle claimed one.

Sarfraz was disappointed with the outcome of the match, and said: “Tough conditions for us. New Zealand’s batsmen batted well, especially Kane Williamson. If you drop catches, it becomes tough. Hopefully we will sit together and come up with a better performance next time.”

Williamson, who was named Man of the Match, was thrilled to have taken a 1-0 lead in the series, and said: “It was really important to start well in the series. We played a lot against West Indies, but it’s a different competition against this Pakistan side.

“I thought 300-plus was above par on this wicket, and then the fight shown by the bowlers was good. They have different qualities and it is important to identify that and adapt. A good New Zealand surface, one we’re very familiar with, but then they’re a strong Pakistan side. So we know we’re up for a tough series.”

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