147 run for hosts puts them 2-1 up in ODI series.

Pakistan inspired, BLACKCAPS mired in Sharjah

Pakistan 364-7 (Ahmed Shehzad 113, Shahid Afridi 55, Matt Henry 3-69) beat BLACKCAPS 217 all out in 38.2 overs (Shahid Afridi 3-37, Kane Williamson 46, Luke Ronchi 41) by 147 runs at Sharjah.

After become the first BLACKCAPS side ever to win an ODI at Sharjah on Friday, the visitors were brought down to earth violently, with a spectacular batting display from Pakistan setting up a big win.


Behind 113 from Ahmed Shehzad and a blistering 55 off 26 balls from Shahid Afridi, Pakistan posted an imposing 364-7 from their 50 overs. With the loss of early wickets, the hill became too steep for the BLACKCAPS to climb and they were eventually all out for 147 in the 39th over. 

Kane Williamson is horribly out of form with the coin, and the victorious Shahid Afridi chose to bat first. The BLACKCAPS had Matt Henry and Mitchell McClenaghan as the only fast bowlers, and the Pakistan batsmen got off to a fast start, taking advantage of lengths that were too short at times.

Corey Anderson got the first wicket of Mohammed Hafeez (33), caught by Luke Ronchi in the eighth over, but it was Ahmed Shehzad who would play the key innings for his side. He put a partnership together with Younis Khan (35) and brought up a fine century from 112 balls.

He fell in the 38th over with the score at 210, and when Asad Shafiq went the next ball the BLACKCAPS had a chance to come back into the match – Shahid Afridi had other ideas, hitting a 21 ball half century before McClenaghan got him for 55. Haris Sohail (39 from 28), Sarfraz Ahmed (30 from 14) and Sohail Tanvir (17 from 9) all played decent hands in getting Pakistan to an imposing 364 in their 50 overs.

It had been a spectacular performance with the bat from Pakistan, leaving the BLACKCAPS an enormous challenge. Matt Henry was once again the leading wicket-taker picking up three scalps, while Nathan McCullum was the most economical with 1-49 from 10 overs.

The BLACKCAPS needed to go fast from the outset and that pressure told almost immediately, with openers Martin Guptill (12) and Anton Devcich (0) missing out, reducing the BLACKCAPS to 2-21 in the fifth. 

Kane Williamson (46) and Ross Taylor (31) lost their wickets when they looked set for the bigger totals required, Williamson caught and bowled to Haris Sohail and Ross Taylor to a Shahid Afridi googly.

Tom Latham went trying to force the pace, caught at deep square leg trying to sweep part-timer Shehzad for his first international wicket. Luke Ronchi was typically productive batting with the tail and found the boundary six times on his way to 41 from 40 balls, before being bowled by another Afridi googly to give Pakistan the win by 147 runs.

The teams now move to Abu Dhabi for the last two matches of the series, and a do or die assignment in the next match for the BLACKCAPS.

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