Bewildered Pakistani camp settled anxiously in the pavilion and disoriented playing eleven walked on to the Wellington’s beautiful outfield on Friday morning, looking for the final chance to clinch a face-saving one day winner. Desperate and restless they seemed to end the ODI series on a positive note and avoid a looming whitewash.
All expectations of consolation win went in vain as the result clamored for New Zealand’s clean sweep in the series against Pakistan at the end of the day.
New Zealand batted first and set a target of 272, thanks to last ten over comeback by Pakistani bowlers, otherwise it could have been a massive total by the hosts. Pakistan’s batting woes continued however as yet another opening pair failed to deliver. Umar Amin and Fakhr Zaman put zero resistance against the Kiwi attack and tumbled cheaply to open gates of top order batting collapse yet again. Babar Azam kept the bad form intact and got dismissed with just 10 runs against his name. Muhammad Hafeez, the mega star, was removed at just 6 runs after playing 29 precious deliveries. The captain Sarfaraz persisted with his bad performance allowing his potential critics to gear up for media disparagement. Haris Sohail and Shadab Khan were the main warriors who scored half centuries to uplift Pakistan team’s dying spirit. They fought well along with the tail enders to secure the last battle but unfortunately Kiwi’s were in no mood to let them rule the day.
This last one-day match really showed us the mirror that how ineffective sometimes our game becomes when playing away from home soil. It’s bizarre to see that we still haven’t learned how to break shackles of “unpredictability” as the world knows us for. We lack consistency as the major problem apart from so many issues faced by our Cricket that needs great time to address and discuss.
In the haphazard of Pakistan team’s poor performance we shouldn’t forget Martin Guptill’s 13th ODI century and Matt Henry’s four wicket haul that sealed the series win for New Zealand.