Martin Guptill (Left) and Kane Williamson put on 159 for the second wicket © Getty Images
Martin Guptill (Left) and Kane Williamson put on 159 for the second wicket © Getty Images

New Zealand beat Pakistan by three wickets in the third One-Day International (ODI) match at Eden Park, Auckland in a rain-curtailed match on Sunday. New Zealand won the series 2-0 as well.  Courtesy of this series win, New Zealand move to the third place in the ICC ODI rankings as well. New Zealand were boosted by some excellent batting from Kane Williamson and Martin Guptill, who put on a record stand of 159 runs for the second wicket after losing their skipper Brendon McCullum in the second over of the innings. McCullum, on his comeback match was dismissed for a first ball duck by Mohammad Aamer. Guptill was dismissed for 82 and New Zealand lost a few more wickets, including that of Williamson for 84. It was Azhar Ali, who picked up wickets of Guptill and Williamson, which was a bit of a surprise. Full Scorecard: Pakistan vs New Zealand 2015-16, 3rd ODI at Auckland

But it was Mohammad Aamer, who was bowling exceedingly well. After dismissing McCullum, he came back for his next spell and dismissed Henry Nicholls, who was the match-winner in the first match was out for just five. Grant Elliott was scalped by Shoaib Malik and rain interrupted play soon after that. There was a half hour break after which the target was revised to 263 from 43 overs. They got there without much trouble but they were lucky to do so as Corey Anderson survived after being caught behind. The ball had clearly taken an outside edge, but umpire Billy Bowden gave it not out. FULL UPDATES: Pakistan vs New Zealand 2015-16, 3rd ODI at Auckland

To add insult to injury, he hot a couple of big blows after that and put New Zealand in a commanding position. Luke Ronchi too did a fine job at the other end but he was cleaned up by Wahab Riaz when New Zealand needed 10 off 13 deliveries. Anderson too fell in the penultimate over with New Zealand just seven runs away from a win.

Earlier, Pakistan won the toss and elected to bat first. They got off to a shaky start, but Mohammad Hafeez (76) and Babar Azam (83) played some excellent counter-attacking cricket, which set up a platform for a huge score. the lower-order, especially Sarfraz Ahmed stepped up and made a vital contribution of 41.Pakistan were bowled out 15 balls under their quota of 50 overs. Pakistan would have been utterly disappointed with that considering that they were well set to score in excess of 300 at one stage. Had they played out their innings, they would have scored 15-20 runs more, which perhaps proved to be the difference maker.

Brief Scores:

Pakistan 290 in 47.3 Overs (Mohammad Hafeez 76, babar Azam 83; Matt Henry 2 for 44, Adam Milne 3 for 49) beat New Zealand 265 for 7 in 42.4 Overs (Martin Guptill 82, Kane Williamson 84; Azhar Ali 2 for 37, Mohammad Aamer 2 for 39) by 3 wickets (D/L method)



Man of the Match: Martin Guptill

(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)