News by “Sana Ullah“
New Zealand started their ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023 campaign on a positive note, defeating Pakistan by 5 wickets in their first warm-up match in Hyderabad on Friday.
Batting first, Pakistan posted a competitive total of 345/5 on the board, half-centuries from Babar Azam (80), Mohammad Rizwan (103), and Saud Shakeel (75).
New Zealand got off to a slow start in their chase, losing opener Devon Conway early. However, Rachin Ravindra and Kane Williamson steadied the ship with a 179-run partnership for the second wicket.
Ravindra was dismissed for 97, but Williamson remained unbeaten on 54 as New Zealand reached the target with 6.2 overs to spare. Mark Chapman also played a key role in the chase, scoring an unbeaten 65.
Williamson helps steer Kiwis to impressive victory over Pakistan in ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023 warm-up
Kane Williamson scored an unbeaten 54 in his first innings since March as New Zealand successfully chased down 345 to beat Pakistan in their first ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023 warm-up match.
The Black Caps captain is still recovering from a knee injury and has been ruled out of the opening game of the tournament against England next Thursday.
However, he gained crucial time in the middle against Pakistan and looked in fine touch in Hyderabad, where Rachin Ravindra, Daryl Mitchell and Mark Chapman also passed 50 in the run chase.
Batting second was the key to success on the first day of warm-up action, as Bangladesh chased 263 to beat Sri Lanka by seven wickets, while the day’s other scheduled match between Afghanistan and South Africa was abandoned without a ball being bowled.
Black Caps batters in fine touch
With five wins from their eight ODI matches against New Zealand this year, Pakistan were understandably confident in Hyderabad and made a fabulous start with the bat.
Despite losing Imam-ul-Haq for just one after the opener misjudged the seam movement from a Matt Henry delivery, Pakistan made quick progress thanks to a 114-run third-wicket partnership between captain Babar Azam and wicket-keeper Mohammad Rizwan.
Babar was the more controlled of the pair but still went along at just under a run-a-ball, his 10 boundaries – including two sixes – helping him to 80 off 84 before he holed out off Mitchell Santner.
Rizwan, who looked in fine touch during the Asia Cup where he three half-centuries, continued that form with an excellent 103 from 94 deliveries.
They were well supported by Saud Shakeel’s 53-ball 75 that featured four sixes, and Agha Salman’s unbeaten 33, as Pakistan finished on 345 for five.
New Zealand made a slow start, with opening batter Devon Conway chipping his first ball to square leg, but they made an impressive recovery as Ravindra and Williamson put on 179 for the second wicket.
Williamson, who did not field as he continues to work his way back to fitness, retired on 54, while the next man in, Mitchell, followed suit and retired after a half-century – his 57-ball 59 featuring five boundaries.
Ravindra was the glue of the star of the innings, as his brisk 97 – coming off just 72 deliveries – featured 16 fours, while Mark Chapman’s unbeaten 65 saw them over the line.
The victory will give New Zealand a confidence boost heading into their opening game of the tournament against England on October 6.
- New Zealand’s batting was in fine form, with five of their batsmen passing 50.
- Kane Williamson looked in good touch in his first innings since March, scoring an unbeaten 54.
- Rachin Ravindra played a brilliant innings of 97, batting at a strike rate of 134.62.
- Pakistan’s batting was also good, with three of their batsmen scoring half-centuries.
- However, they were unable to take early wickets in the New Zealand chase, which allowed Williamson and Ravindra to build a big partnership.
Overall, it was a convincing victory for New Zealand in their first warm-up match. They will be looking to continue their good form in their remaining warm-up matches and into the tournament proper.