Pakistan set a 291-run target and jolted the Kiwis batting line up when Muhammad Amir dismissed Brendon McCullum in his first over. Since the point, Kiwis put up strong resistance only to be broken by the skipper Azhar Ali who sent two batsmen to the pavilion in his four overs.
Pakistan put up a strong fight to take the match to the final over. However, rain interruption and a ‘human error’ from umpire Billy Bowden in the 40th over by Rahat Ali made the game more challenging for the guest.
Earlier, Babar Azam and Mohammad Hafeez shone for Pakistan. With the pair at the crease, Pakistan were set to threaten the Eden Park ODI innings record of 340, but with their departure the innings collapsed and they were unable to bat out their 50 overs.
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New Zealand Innings
New Zealand win in 42.4 overs by three wickets
Wahab Riaz was smashed two boundaries in the final over.
After 40 overs
New Zealand: 253/6
Luke Ronchi 20 (21) OUT
Corey Anderson 34 (27 balls)
After 39 overs
New Zealand: 250/5
Luke Ronchi 19 (16)
Corey Anderson 33 (26 balls)
‘Match turning’ point?
OUT! But umpire Billy Bowden says NO. Snicko shows a faint edge too! Pakistan are unlucky at such a crucial time.
After 36 overs
New Zealand: 213/5
Luke Ronchi 3 (5)
Corey Anderson 15 (19 balls)
According to Duckworth-Lewis formula, New Zealand have eight runs more than then par score at this point. So they will be declared triumphant in case the rain doesn’t halt.
Match stopped due to rain
After 35.3 overs
New Zealand: 210/5
Grant Elliot 10 runs (17 balls) OUT
Corey Anderson 14 (15 balls)
After 33 overs
New Zealand: 193/4
Grant Elliot 5 runs (11 balls)
Corey Anderson 3 (6 balls)
After 30 overs
New Zealand: 184/3
Grant Elliot 2 runs (5 balls)
Henry Nicholls 4 (10 balls)
After 27 overs
New Zealand: 167/2
Kane Williamson 72 runs (78 balls)
Henry Nicholls 1 (2 balls)
After 24 overs
New Zealand: 147-1
Kane Williamson 58 runs (67 balls)
Martin Guptil 78 runs (76 balls)
Fall of wickets
Irfan to Anderson
Wahab Riaz to Ronchi
Shoaib Malik to Elliott
Azhar Ali to Williamson
Azhar Ali to Guptill
Amir to McCullum
Pakistan, who need to win to tie the series, were all out for 290 with 15 balls remaining with Babar contributing a career-best 83 and Hafeez 76.
The tourists were 20-2 in the sixth over when the pair embarked on a 134-run partnership for the third wicket, in which they lifted the run rate to 6.81 by the time Hafeez was dismissed with 27 overs remaining.
Shoaib Malik joined Babar and the run rate continued to rise to 6.90, but when New Zealand’s leading strike bowlers Trent Boult and Matt Henry combined to remove Malik and Babar, Pakistan’s lack of depth was exposed. Their last six wickets fell for 63 runs.
Martin Guptill, who was in doubt on the eve of the match because of a twisted ankle, was instrumental in the first two wickets that fell.
Fielding at short midwicket, he took a smart catch low down to give Boult the wicket of Ahmed Shehzad for 12.
Two balls later, fielding at slip to Henry, he caught Azhar Ali for three and Pakistan were quickly two down after winning the toss and electing to bat.
The wickets dried up as Babar and Hafeez wrested control away from the bowlers, forcing New Zealand skipper Brendon McCullum into quick bowler rotation to try to unsettle the pair.
Hafeez eventually fell to Mitchell Santner, caught by Adam Milne at deep backward square leg, for 76 which included five fours and five sixes.
It was a satisfying wicket for Santner in his third over after his first two cost 23 runs.
Malik maintained the onslaught with Babar, adding a rapid 32 off 27 until he was caught behind to give Boult his second wicket.
Babar, whose 83 off 77 contained 10 fours and a six, was removed two overs later when he slashed a Henry delivery to the safe hands of Guptill at point.
Mohammad Rizwan tried to keep the innings alive with 16 before he was unlucky to be run out off a straight drive, which deflected off bowler Grant Elliott’s hand and on to the stumps before he could regain his crease.
For New Zealand, Milne took three for 49 while Boult and Henry finished with two apiece.