Matt Henry deservedly won the Man of the Match award for this performance and would surely gain a great deal of confidence © Getty Images (File Photo)
Matt Henry deservedly won the Man of the Match award for this performance and would surely gain a great deal of confidence © Getty Images (File Photo)

The One-Day International (ODI) series reached its climax as New Zealand edged out Pakistan by 68 runs in the final match to clinch the series 3-2. Pramod Ananth analyses the New Zealand players’ performances and rates them out of 10.

Martin Guptill (1/10): Guptill did not have any impact on the match whatsoever. He was the first batsman to be dismissed, for eight runs off nine balls, and didn’t look convincing. Considering the fact that this was a decider, New Zealand would have wanted to get a decent opening partnership, which didn’t happen once again.

Dean Brownlie (4/10): Brownlie once again got a start but didn’t kick on. After Guptill went early, he and Kane Williamson added 66 for the second wicket at a steady rate. He just scored three boundaries in his knock of 34 and didn’t take too many risks, but he kept the scoreboard ticking.

Kane Williamson (8/10): Williamson was again in great form. He scored 123 in the previous match at the same venue and looked set for another ton, but was unfortunately dismissed for 97. He had two wonderful partnerships, first with Brownlie and then with Ross Taylor. He put on 116 with Taylor, which turned out to be pivotal in New Zealand reaching 275. Although he didn’t pick up any wickets, he was very economical and went through his overs very quickly, adding more pressure on the Pakistani batsmen.

Ross Taylor (9/10): Taylor took some time to get going. His first boundary came only after 35-odd balls, which is quite unusual.  But once he got the feel of the bowlers he was unstoppable. He played an extremely sensible and responsible innings. Once his skipper was dismissed, he took control of the situation and did not throw away his wicket. He was involved in two quick partnerships worth 39 and 34 runs with Luke Ronchi and Tom Latham respectively. These partnerships were key in helping New Zealand reach a match-winning target. His unbeaten 88 came off 95 deliveries.

Luke Ronchi (6/10): Ronchi made 16 off 12 balls coming in at No. 5 when New Zealand had just lost Williamson. Ronchi provided good support to the set Taylor at the other end and ensured that the momentum continued. Ronchi wanted to clear the fence just like he’d done off the previous delivery but was caught by Shahid Afridi. He had a good day behind the wicket as well as he was involved in three dismissals.

Tom Latham (5/10): Latham walked into the middle and made a brisk 22 off 14 deliveries. He struck four boundaries and relieved some pressure off Taylor. It was important for New Zealand to finish well after consolidating in the middle overs, and Latham ensured they did just that.

Anton Devcich (6/10): Devcich did not get a chance to bat but when he got a chance to bowl he did not disappoint. He added to Pakistan’s misery when he dismissed Asad Shafiq cheaply in the 13th over. Devcich took one for 22 in his six overs, but was forced off the field when he landed awkwardly on his shoulder while going for a catch. However, he did a fine job of restricting Pakistan when he bowled.

Nathan McCullum (5/10): McCullum was on the expensive side as the Pakistan batsmen targeted him. He got the crucial wicket of Umar Akmal, who could have made a huge difference. He then took the wicket of Anwar Ali, who was looking to use the long handle down the order.

Adam Milne (5/10): Milne once again bowled with a lot of pace, and bowled well in tandem with Matt Henry. He troubled the batsmen early on with his pace, but was unlucky not to pick up more than one wicket. Milne has proven time and again that he is a very good fielder and today was no different. His performance in this series has surely boosted his chances of making it to the ICC World Cup 2015 squad.

Matt Henry (10/10): Henry was the most impressive player on the field, finishing with career-best figures of five for 30. He dismissed the top three batsmen and came back later in the day to dismiss the dangerous Afridi and in-form wicketkeeper-batsman Sarfraz Ahmed. He deservedly got the Man of the Match award. This performance will give Henry a great deal of confidence moving forward.

Mitchell McClenaghan (4/10): McClenaghan had a very ordinary game. He was economical in the beginning but conceded a lot of runs as the innings rolled on. His performance wasn’t all that convincing and the captain would have been happy that he had the likes of Milne and Henry at his disposal because McClenaghan had an off day. However, he can take solace from the fact that he picked up the wicket of the top-scorer, Haris Sohail.

(Pramod Ananth is a reporter at CricketCoutry. He has represented Karnataka table tennis under-15 and a hardcore supporter of Liverpool FC. He can be follwed at @pramz.)