New Zealand’s rising batting sensation Kane Williamson struck a magnificent ton to help his team beat Pakistan by 112 runs in the 2nd ODI at Napier. Pakistan were bowled out for 250 in the 44th over, chasing New Zealand’s total of 369/5. This completes an impressive 2-0 series win for New Zealand before the Cricket World Cup 2015.
New Zealand bat first, Martin Guptill and Kane Williamson get the runs
McCullum’s decision to bat first, after winning the toss, rightly signalled New Zealand’s intentions for the match. The openers were on the attack right from the very start. McCullum, especially, got things going with a brisk 27 ball 31. Martin Guptill, at the other end, held fort, and kept getting the runs at a steady rate.
The complexion of the game changed from the moment Kane Williamson came into bat. The young Kiwi batsman has been in the form of his life in the last one year, and had no problems in carrying his good form into the match. First a 128 run stand with Guptill for the 2nd wicket and then a quickfire 79 run stand with Ross Taylor took New Zealand past the 250 run mark in the 39th over.
Ross Taylor sets the stage on fire in the last 10 overs
Kane Williamson’s dismissal in the 39th over, for a score of 112(88), provided no respite to the Pakistani bowlers, who then came under Ross Taylor’s fire. New Zealand piled up the runs at a blistering pace in the last 10 overs, scoring 116 runs. Taylor was the destroyer-in-chief in this period of the match, as he brought up his century in style and hit 73 off the last 36 balls that he faced.
Pakistani openers set a good platform, middle order fails
Pakistan’s hopes of mounting a fight in the chase were boosted by the solid 111 run platform provided by their openers. Mohammad Hafeez and Ahmed Shehzad both struck half centuries and kept the asking rate under control during the first 20 overs. Shehzad’s dismissal slowed things down as neither Younis Khan nor Misbah could keep the runs flowing. Shahid Afridi’s promotion up the order yielded little as he was dismissed for a paltry 11 in the 33rd over. Afridi’s dismissal, which came a couple of overs after Hafeez’s, virtually sealed Pakistan’s fate in the game.
The middle order failed to use the good platform provided by the openers and both Umar Akmal and Haris Sohail were sent back to the pavilion with single digit scores. The lower order could not resist for any more than 5 overs after Sarfraz Ahmed’s dismissal, as Pakistan fell short by 119 runs.
Kane Williamson was adjudged the Man of the Match, and his recent performances indicate that he is going to be a force to reckon with in the Cricket World Cup 2015.