Recent Match Report – New Zealand vs Pakistan 2nd ODI 2022/23

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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

New Zealand suffered a late 37-run 6-wicket defeat on a slow pitch in Karachi, but before that attacking enterprise from Devon Conway and Kane Williamson gave their spin-heavy attack a defendable total to work from. After Tim Southee and Lockie Ferguson made early innings in Pakistan’s chase of 262, New Zealand’s spin quartet taunted the hosts with their subtle variations and sealed the series decider on Friday.
Despite wickets falling around him, Babar Azam’s 79 off 114 balls offered Pakistan hope but could not find a higher gear to keep up with the demanding rate.
Mitchell Santner did his job by relentlessly attacking the stumps and stopping his length. Michael Bracewell, a batting all-rounder for his home side Wellington, was the most economical spinner, taking 1 for 29 from his ten overs.
Ish Sodhi, who returned to the side in place of Henry Shipley, bowled in the pitch and often mis-hit the Pakistan batsmen. The legspinner secured the prized scalp of Babar, the second-last Pakistan batsman to be dismissed, and sealed New Zealand’s series-levelling victory. Glenn Phillips, now a reluctant wicketkeeper due to his back position, trapped Haris Sohail LBW in New Zealand’s spin stocks in the ODI World Cup year. The spinners had combined figures of 30-0-114-5.

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.

Earlier in the day, Mohammad Nawaz did well on a sluggish pitch, even finding grip and turn with his quick darts. Nawaz’s bowling was not just about grip and turn. A delightful cocktail of drift, dip and turn broke down Williamson’s defense in the 35th over. Skid and zip on a fairly slow pitch without Tom Latham, one of the best players of spin in New Zealand’s line-up. He took four wickets in New Zealand’s collapse of 6 wickets for 37 runs.
Pakistan had also started well, with Naseem Shah striking once again in his first over. After sending Conway for a golden duck in the first ODI, the fast bowler had Finn Allen caught at short cover by Nawaz for 1 in the second. Williamson then shared a 181-run partnership for the second wicket with Conway.

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.

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