Hafeez, Afridi help Pakistan level series vs NZ

Published: January 29, 2011
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Mohammad Hafeez's maiden ODI century set up Pakistan's score of 293. PHOTO: AFP

Mohammad Hafeez's maiden ODI century set up Pakistan's score of 293. PHOTO: AFP

Mohammad Hafeez's maiden ODI century set up Pakistan's score of 293. PHOTO: AFP Shahid Afridi blasted the
equal-fastest half century in New Zealand. PHOTO: AFP

WELLINGTON: Mohammad Hafeez scored his first one-day century and Shahid Afridi blasted the equal-fastest half century in New Zealand as Pakistan leveled their one-day series against the hosts following a 43-run victory at Lancaster Park on Saturday.

New Zealand never really challenged Pakistan’s imposing 293 for seven, with Martin Guptill (39), Jamie How (24) Scott Styris (46) and Kane Williamson (42) all getting starts but leaving too many runs for the lower order to overhaul the total.

Skipper Afridi also cleverly rotated his bowlers, who expertly changed their pace and angles, bowled to their fields and took wickets just as New Zealand’s batsmen appeared set to push on.

Tim Southee (13 not out) hit a six off the last ball to drag New Zealand to 250 for nine. Hamish Bennett was with Southee on four.

“We got a few starts and didn’t go on,” New Zealand captain Ross Taylor said in a televised interview. “All credit to them I think Umar Gul bowled really well and took it away from us.”

The six-match series is locked at 1-1 after New Zealand won the first match in Wellington by nine wickets last week and the second in Queenstown was washed out on Wednesday.

Pakistan’s innings had been held together by Hafeez (115), who also shared a 94-run partnership with Misbah-ul-haq (35) and 52 runs with Umar Akmal (44).

“I was just concentrating on the game. I missed a couple of opportunities in the test series so I was looking forward to scoring runs in this match,” Hafeez said.

“We were all looking forward to winning this game… and it was a good team effort.”

Afridi scored a blistering 65, which included five sixes and five boundaries, as he and Umar blasted a destructive 69-runs off 26 balls as Pakistan made full use of the final powerplay, scoring 126 runs in the last 10 overs.

Afridi’s half century was brought up on his 19th delivery, equalling the fastest one-day international half century scored in New Zealand, which is also held by Brendon McCullum.

“I think you have to give credit to Shahid Afridi,” Taylor added. “He batted very well. The boundaries here are very small but he cleared them with some massive sixes.”

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Reader Comments (5)

  • haze786
    Jan 29, 2011 - 5:08PM

    thats good one win….keep it up….Recommend

  • Waqar Qureshi
    Jan 29, 2011 - 8:23PM

    Very well played. All the best for World Cup 2011!!Recommend

  • Paras Vikmani
    Jan 29, 2011 - 11:33PM

    congrats to pakistanRecommend

  • rehan
    Jan 30, 2011 - 12:42AM

    @Paras.Thanks Paras.I guess you are an Indian.Being a Pakistani of course I want it to clinch the World cup!But my second wish is for India..and more so that The Champion Tendulkar needs a World Cup Title too…he has done a lot for Indian Cricket..not being in any ‘winning’ world cup squad will be unlucky for the game’s greatest ever!Recommend

  • Naveed Akhtar Raja
    Jan 31, 2011 - 3:01PM

    Congrats Pakistan! and the same enthusiasm should be in the Worldcup also.Recommend

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