In a World Cup warm-up game on Friday, Rachin Ravindra and Kane Williamson made crucial contributions as New Zealand chased down 345 to defeat Pakistan by five wickets.
New Zealand needed to score 346 runs to win, but they lost an early wicket before Williamson (54) and Ravindra (97) put on 137 runs to pull their team back on track. They reached the goal in Hyderabad with 6.2 overs remaining.
In Pakistan’s 345-5 after choosing to bat first, Mohammed Rizwan scored 103 and Babar Azam made 80, but the Kiwi batsmen made the total seem simple against an attack lacking pace spearhead Shaheen Shah Afridi.
Williamson, who only participated as a batter in the game after missing six months owing to a knee injury, had remarkable form during his 50-ball stint before being dismissed.
Williamson remarked of his knee after the victory, “It held up pretty good,” noting that he will miss the tournament’s opening match against England on October 5.
“After that (knock), a little bit of frosting. But that is a step in the procedure.
Being named to the squad and being fortunate with that recuperation were exciting to me. Agha Salman prevented Ravindra from scoring a century despite the fact that he hit 16 fours and one six against the opposition bowlers.
Usama Mir, a Pakistani spinner, struck twice in his two overs, but Daryl Mitchell made a 59 to keep the chase on track.
New Zealand completed the task in 43.4 overs thanks to a 68-run partnership between left-handed batsman Mark Chapman, who hit the decisive six in his unbeaten 65, and James Neesham, who scored 33.
Prior to being bowled by Mitchell Santner, Azam smashed eight fours and two sixes. However, Rizwan continued to bat and joined Saud Shakeel for another crucial stand to make 100.
In his 94-ball innings, Rizwan hit nine fours and two sixes and declared: “A hundred is a hundred in any circumstance. I am content and proud.
Due to a Hindu festival and security concerns in Hyderabad, the game which, along with other warm-ups, was not an official one-day match was played in an empty venue.
Cricket Chief Selector Inzamamul Haq revealed Pakistan’s 15-person roster for the major competition last week. Notably, Hasan Ali, a star pacer who suffered an injury during the Asia Cup, is not included.
Bowlers Faheem Ashraf and Mohammad Hasnain, who were both in the team for the Asia Cup, are two more conspicuous omissions.
Babar Azam, Shadab Khan, Abdullah Shafique, Fakhar Zaman, Hasan Ali, Iftikhar Ahmed, Imamul Haq, Muhammad Nawaz, Mohammad Rizwan, Mohammad Wasim (wicketkeeper), Agha Salman, Saud Shakeel, Shaheen Shah Afridi, and Usama Mir make up the squad.