Also on cricketcountry.com
Mar 17, 2014
In the warm-up game played between New Zealand and Pakistan at Mirpur, Pakistan laboured to a penultimate-ball finish by six wickets after being in total command of proceedings at one stage after Kamran Akmal and Mohammad Hafeez had put them in control at one stage.
Pakistan would reflect on the fact they made heavy weather of a moderate score after their bowlers had done a fine job in nullifying the big-hitting New Zealand batsmen.
Akmal’s blistering opening knock set the tone for the side, going after the bowling from thew word go, spanking some fine shots in his favoured point area. After Sharjeel Khan departed early, Hafeez siezed the initiative and displayed some marvelous power-hitting.
Hafeez was severe on the bowlers and Akmal-Hafeez partnership had brought them close to the target in no time. After reaching his half-century, Akmal retired himself out and Hafeez was dismissed by Nathan McCullum, who was the pick of the New Zealand bowlers by a long way.
Earlier in the match, New Zealand never got going and could only amass 145 for nine on the board. This is a warm-up match that is taking place for both teams to acclimatise themselves to the conditions before they play in the ICC World T20 2014. New Zealand won the toss and elected to bat.
New Zealand captain, Brendon McCullum was the star performer for them. He mixed caution with aggression during his innings. On a track that that was on the slower side, McCullum had to bide his time, before he got going.
After the loss of a Hafeez and Umar Akmal soon after, Pakistan found themselves needing seven of the last over and Corey Anderson was New Zealand’s bowler. Only one run came of the first three balls before Sohaib Maqsood concluded proceedings with two back-to-back boundaries.
New Zealand 145 for 9 in 20 overs (Brendon McCullum 59*, Colin Munro 20; Umar Gul 3 for 16) beat Pakistan 149 for 4 in 19.5 overs (Kamran Akmal 52, Mohammad Hafeez 55; Nathan McCullum 2 for 21) by 6 wickets
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