ICC World Cup 2019: Babar Azam dazzles in Pak’s win
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ICC World Cup 2019: Babar Azam dazzles in Pak’s win

June 27, 2019

A brilliant century by Pakistan’s Babar Azam (101 n.o.) and the vital fourth wicket partnership of 126-runs between Babar Azam and Haris Sohail helped them to register a fluent six wicket win over New Zealand and the win has rekindled their hopes of qualifying for the last four stage of the ICC World Cup 2019 at Edgbaston, Birmingham, on Wednesday.

New Zealand start badly

Earlier, batting first New Zealand were rocked by some brilliant fast bowling performance by Pakistan’s fast bowler Shaheen Afridi (three for 28) and Amir (one for 67) when they reduced New Zealand to 46 for four at one stage.

Kane Williamson, the New Zealand skipper, tried to shore up the innings but he was dismissed by a peach of a delivery by Shadab Khan for a well made 41 (69b, 4×4) and the Kiwis were reeling at 83 for five in 26.2 overs.

Recovery act

All-rounder James Neesham (97 n.o., 112b, 5×4) and Colin de Grandhome 64 (71b, 6×4, 1×6) batted responsibly and added 132-runs for the sixth wicket and gave New Zealand a chance by putting up a decent total. New Zealand ended up scoring 237 for six in 50 overs.

The Pakistan fast bowlers utilised the overcast conditions well and bowled a deceptive line to trouble the New Zealand batsman and succeeded in their tactics. Shaheen Afridi was the pick of Pakistan bowlers and took three for 28.

Babar Azam sparkles

Pakistan got off to a shaky start losing opener Fakhar Zaman (9) early (19 for one) to fast bowler Trent Bolt.

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Imam-ul Haq (19) and Babar Azam added 25-runs for the second wicket before Imam departed caught brilliantly by Guptill off Lockie Ferguson (44 for two).

Babar Azam batted brilliantly and along with Mohammad Hafeez (32) added 66-runs for the third wicket. Williamson removed Hafeez and New Zealand came back strongly into the game, but the excellent fourth wicket partnership between Babar Azam (101 n.o, 122b, 11×4) and Haris Sohail 68 (76b, 5×4, 2×6) enabled Pakistan’s cause.

Pakistan ended up scoring 241 for four in 49.1 overs and registered a facile six-wicket win. This was New Zealand’s first defeat in the tournament.

Scores

New Zealand: 237 for 6 in 50 overs (Neesham 97 n.o., Colin de Grandhomme 64, Kane Williamson 41, Shaheen Afridi 3 for 28) lost to Pakistan: 241 for 4 in 49.1 overs (Babar Azam 101 n.o., Haris Sohail 68, Hafeez 32); Player of the Match: Babar Azam.

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