Thursday, February 3, 2011

Shehzad helps Black cats set target

Ahmed Shehzad's maiden century helped Pakistan post a 269-run target for New Zealand in the fifth one-day international at Hamilton.

Put into bat under overcast conditions, Shehzad set the tone with a 109-ball 115 helped along by three 40-plus partnerships in tandem with Kamran Akmal (17), Younis Khan (21), Misbah-ul-Haq (25) and a 43-run stand between skipper Shahid Afridi (24) and Umar Akmal (32).

New Zealand's bowlers fought back well in the slog overs picking up five wickets to slow the scoring rate, with Scott Styris, Kyle Mills and Jacob Oram grabbing two each.

The Kiwis managed to subdue Pakistan in the early exchanges, and with just seven overs gone, Mills sent back Mohammad Hafeez (14) caught at mid off.

Shehzad hit back with two boundaries off Mills in his next over, and set up a 53-run stand with Kamran Akmal that ended with the latter's run out off a direct hit.

Shehzad, however, looked in brilliant touch as he hit seven boundaries and a six to reach his maiden ODI fifty. Younis Khan played the patient role for his 21 - the third-wicket partnership reached 47 - but fell to the lure of the big shot and his sweep off Nathan McCullum only found Styris' hands at square leg.

Pakistan's hero from the fourth ODI Misbah-ul-Haq helped keep the momentum going while Shehzad raced away to his hundred with a six off Hamish Bennett and a single off Oram.

Pakistan's best partnership at 77 was finally ended by Styris as Shehzad's lofted shot to deep midwicket was caught by James Franklin and Styris struck again in his next over, as Misbah's aggressive pull was well caught by Oram at deep square leg.

Afridi showed flashes of aggression but Oram had him caught by Martin Guptill at mid on, while Abdul Razzaq departed off Mills for just three, caught at deep extra cover.

Umar Akmal fought hard for his run-a-ball 32 before being run out by Brendon McCullum and Umar Gul (one) fell on the last ball of the innings, leaving Wahab Riaz unbeaten on two.



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