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New Zealand look to bounce back in Pakistan series

SHARJAH: New Zealand captain Kane Williamson said his team had the capacity to bounce back against Pakistan in the second one-day international in Sharjah on Friday.

Pakistan overcame early batting jitters in the first one-day to win by three wickets in Dubai on Monday for a 1-0 lead in the five-match series.

But Williamson, leading the side in the absence of regular captain Brendon McCullum who left for home to prepare for the series against Sri Lanka, hoped his team learn from mistakes made in the first game.

“It’s important to bounce back,” said Williamson on Thursday. “”We have done that in the past and in the Test and Twenty20 series on this tour.”

New Zealand staged a remarkable comeback to level the three-match Test series 1-1 after losing the first game and drawing the second and also had a come from behind parity in the two-match Twenty20 series.

All-rounder Corey Anderson, who was hit by a bouncer in the first Twenty20, and opener Martin Guptill, who sustained a hamstring injury which forced him to miss the first one-dayer, will be assessed early Friday.

Williamson said it would be enjoyable to bowl again after being cleared over an illegal bowling action on Tuesday.

“It’s nice be back as a bowler,” said Williamson, whose team failed to defend a 247-run target after having Pakistan reeling at 124-6.

Haris Sohail (85 not out) and Shahid Afridi (61) led Pakistan’s recovery during their 110-run stand for the seventh wicket.

Pakistan skipper Misbah-ul Haq admitted New Zealand can be dangerous.

“New Zealand is playing good cricket and they have improved a lot in the last two to three years and the way they have played on this tour we have to be at our best to win against them,” said Misbah.

Misbah hoped his pace bowlers deliver once more.

“Given the conditions our fast bowlers did well in the first game despite little support from the pitch and I hope they continue to bowl like that,” said Misbah.

Opener Mohammad Hafeez is likley to be retained for the second match before leaving for Chennai, India for remedial work on his bowling action.

He was suspended from bowling after his action was deemed illegal last week.

Pakistan have the option of replacing paceman Umar Gul with seamer Sohail Tanvir but Misbah is averse to change a winning combination. -AFP

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