new zealand 261 (Conway 101, Williamson 85, Nawaz 4-38, Naseem 3-58) Pakistan 182 (Babar 79, Sodhi 2-38, Southee 2-33) by 79 runs
It was Southee and Ferguson who set the tone for New Zealand’s successful defence. After testing Fakhar Zaman with six inswingers, Southee edged one away from the left-hander on a Test match length and kissed his outside edge. Seven balls went for a duck. With several of New Zealand’s fast bowlers absent due to injury, Ferguson took the new ball with Southee and dismissed Imam-ul-Haq with a 153 kmph bouncer.
Babar repaired the innings by adding 55 runs for the third wicket with Mohammad Rizwan, but needed 99 balls to get there. New Zealand’s spinners continued to ask Pakistan’s batsmen at an asking rate and drawing errors. Babar tried to take the chase as far as possible, but his men were dismissed in 43 overs.
During those early exchanges, Conway struggled for timing and often lost his shape when he tried to over-hit the ball. Meanwhile, Williamson was in control from the get-go.
The New Zealand skipper started his innings with a trademark thump at number three and then displayed more intent in the powerplay. He scythed Naseem over backward point and lofted Mohammad Wasim in the air over midwicket for a boundary. Williamson was the first to reach his fifty off 52 balls, joined by Conway in the same over.
Williamson was relieved twice in the space of four balls in the 22nd over. When Wasim dug one into the pitch for the first time, he pulled a pull over midwicket where Haris dropped an overhead coach. Three balls later, Rizwan, the wicketkeeper, took a chance after Wasim brushed Williamson’s gloves.
Conway then showed signs of fluency at his best, taking on Pakistan’s spinners with a variety of hard sweeps, including the reverse. After bringing up his maiden half-century off 57 balls, he needed just 32 more for triple-figures. When Babar tried to stitch together some quiet overs from part-time spinner Agha Salman, Conway helped him out of the attack with an eight-ball 12. Conway charged Wasim as well, with audacity pumping him over point for a six. When he looked good for more, Naseem took a wicket before Nawaz took over and wrecked New Zealand’s middle order.
Santner fought hard in the death overs, scoring 37 runs in 40 balls, but was run out on the last ball of the innings. He also stepped up with the ball and made sure there would be no way for Pakistan despite Babar’s resistance.