Mohammad Aamer was the pick of the Pakistan bowers, finishing with five wickets in the series © Getty Images
Mohammad Aamer was the pick of the Pakistan bowers, finishing with five wickets in the series © Getty Images

Pakistan conceded the One-Day International (ODI) series against New Zealand 0-2, despite putting up an excellent fight in both the matches. They were in control of the match on many occasions but let it slip. Though theu did not win the series, they can be proud of the way they played and will look to go one step further and win the series when they play next. The New Zealand tour marked the return of Mohammad Aamer, who did a fine job in the T20 International (T20I) and the ODI series as well. Pramod Ananth analyses the performance of the Pakistan players in the series and rates them on a scale of 10. Full Scorecard: Pakistan vs New Zealand 2015-16, 3rd ODI at Auckland

(NOTE: Pakistan could not draw level in the second ODI after losing the first match as rain had washed out the match without a single ball being bowled)

Azhar Ali (4/10): Azhar did not have a good time in the bat, registering scores of 19 and three in the two matches. He however sprung a surprise with his leg breaks in the third match, dismissing the well ser Kane Williamson and Martin Guptill in quick succession. Being the captain of the side, he would have been entrusted to get Pakistan off to a good start opening the innings, but failed on both occasions, putting pressure on the middle-order to score bulk of the runs. FULL UPDATES: Pakistan vs New Zealand 2015-16, 3rd ODI at Auckland

Ahmed Shehzad (2/10): Like Azhar, Shehzad too failed with the bat, scoring just 25 in both innings he played. Once Shehzad gets going, he is a treat to watch. He is someone, who likes to build his innings and can play a long one, if he is set. Sadly, he too went early and could not set an ideal platform for Pakistan in either of the matches.

Mohammad Hafeez (6/10): Hafeez showed his experience and did not let Pakistan lose another wicket after losing their openers early. He steadied the innings and built handy partnerships with Babar Azam. Sadly, he could not convert them into a big score, which probably could have taken Pakistan to victories in both games. Still, 118 runs in two innings is not a bad effort. READ: Pakistan fined for maintaining slow over-rate in 3rd ODI against New Zealand

Babar Azam (7/10): Azam was the only Pakistan player, who scored fifties in both matches. His partnerships with Hafeez were crucial for Pakistan and it gave them a chance to win the matches. His 77-ball 83 at Auckland was a treat to watch and it laid the platform for the lower-order to take Pakistan to a huge total. Despite that, Pakistan were bowled out for less than 300 and eventually lost the match.

Sohaib Maqsood (2/10): Maqsood played only the first game of the series and scored a 16-ball 10. Maqsood is a talented batsman, but is yet to find his feet at the international stage. He is in and out of the team on many occasions and Pakistan will have to give him a longer run at the international stage, if they want to get the best out of him.

Shoaib Malik (4/10): Malik replaced Maqsood in the third ODI and made a handy contribution 32 off just 27 deliveries and ensured Pakistan did not lose momentum after Hafeez was dismissed for a quick fire 76. He also chipped in with a wicket — that of Grant Elliott —just before rain had interrupted play. READ: Pakistan vs New Zealand 2015-16, 2nd ODI at Napier abandoned due to rain

Sarfraz Ahmed (5/10): Sarfraz scored at an excellent rate in both matches and should have probably carried on to get more runs in both matches. He scored 30 in the first match, when Pakistan were chasing 281 and then scored 41 in the final match, but he could have scored more, given that Pakistan were bowled out 15 balls shy of completing 50 overs. Had he batted a bit longer, Pakistan could have scored another 20 runs, which could have made the difference eventually.

Imad Wasim (2/10): Wasim is still in the early stages of his career and will only get better and better as he plays more matches. Wasim played just the first match and went wicketless in the match. He is a handy batsman down the order as well, but managed to score just a single in his only innings. He will surely get many more opportunities ti prove his worth in the near future.

Anwar Ali (4/10): Ali played only the first ODI and was on the expensive side, but managed to pick up three wickets, as he finished with figures of 3 for 66 in 9.5 overs. He offered some resistance with the bat scoring a 22-ball 16, batting at No. 8. Sadly, that was not enough as Pakistan eventually lost the game by 70 runs.  FULL CRICKET SCORECARD: New Zealand vs Paksitan 2015-16, 1st ODI at Wellington

Mohammad Rizwan (3/10): Pakistan went into the third ODI with an extra batsman as Rizwan  came in at No. 7, shows the kind of depth Pakistan have in their batting. He was unfortunately run out at the non-striker’s end and was dismissed for 16 in his only innings.

Wahab Riaz (1/10): Wahab has not looked the same threatening bowler he was during the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015. He managed to pick up just one wicket in both matches combined and went for a plenty of runs as well. He has bowled as the second change bowler for Pakistan, something that does not suit him perhaps. The captain should consider giving him the new ball in the future series.

Mohammad Aamer (8/10): Aamer was easily Pakistan’s best bowler on the series. He bowled a magnificent spell at Wellington, claiming 3 for 28 and then followed it up with a good spell at Auckland as well, where he got rid of Brendon McCullum off the very first ball he faced. Aamer was Azhar Ali’s go to man on time of crisis and always delivered wither with a wicket or by keeping runs to a bare minimum.

Rahat Ali (1/10): Rahat replaced Anwar in the side for the third ODI. His inclusion meant that Pakistan had played four left-arm seamers for the very first time in history. Anwar was not particularly bad in the first match and his exclusion came as a bit of a surprise. With four left-arm seamers, the attack became very one-dimensional and New Zealand batsmen got the hang of them soon. Rahat went for 54 runs in his seven overs and failed to pick up a single wicket. READ: New Zealand comfortably beat Pakistan by 70 runs in 1s ODI despite Mitchell McClenaghan injury

Mohammad Irfan (5/10): Irfan was excellent in the first match, but did not have much of an impact in the final game. Irfan struck early in the first match, dismissing the dangerous Martin Guptill early for just 11. He then continued to ball tight lines and lengths throughout his spell, despite a few other bowlers, taking a hammering from the lower-order. Irfan was a touch expensive in the next match, but managed to pick up the wicket of Corey Anderson at a crucial stage, but it was not enough.

(Pramod Ananth is a reporter at CricketCountry. He has represented Karnataka table tennis under-15, and is a hardcore supporter of Liverpool FC. His Twitter handle is @pramz)