Fakhar, Babar, Rizwan fifties ensure Pakistan clinch opener | Daily News

Fakhar, Babar, Rizwan fifties ensure Pakistan clinch opener

The Pakistan ODI method was on show. Stymie the opposition to a par total. Make them, and everybody else, believe that they are struggling in the chase despite a good show from the top order and then overhaul the target rather comfortably.

After Pakistan opted to bowl first, Naseem Shah picked up his second ODI five-for - in back-to-back games, having last played in August 2022 - to restrict New Zealand to 255 for 9. And then, Fakhar Zaman, Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan stroked fine half-centuries to help Pakistan go 1-0 up in the three-match series in Karachi. Rizwan stuttered his way at the start and then suffered from cramps towards the end, before unleashing an assault of innovative measures on New Zealand to take the side home to a six-wicket win.

Chasing 256, Fakhar and Imam-ul-Haq got Pakistan off the blocks quickly. Imam hit his first ball through midwicket - aided by a misfield - for four as both batters feasted on debutant Henry Shipley's erring lines and lengths. All this before Imam looked to take on Michael Bracewell by skipping down the track and only managed to miscue one to mid-on.

Chief scores:

New Zealand 255 for 9 (Michael Bracewell 43, Tom Latham 42, Naseem Shah 5-57, Usama Mir 2-42)

Pakistan 258 for 4 (Mohammad Rizwan 77n.o., Babar Azam 66, Fakhar Zaman 56, Michael Bracewell 2-44)

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