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McCullum helps New Zealand to level the series
by Jinu Sabastian


Ground:Sheikh Zayed Stadium, Abu Dhabi
Scorecard:Pakistan v New Zealand
Player:BB McCullum, SB Styris, Salman Butt
Event:New Zealand in United Arab Emirates 2009/10

DateLine: 6th November 2009

 

New Zealand repaid Pakistan almost in the same coin as they registered a comprehensive win over their opponents. If New Zealand looked quite flat in the first game it was the turn of Pakistan to look jaded in the second encounter.

 

Batting first New Zealand racked up an impressive 303 for the loss of eight wickets in their 50 overs while Pakistan in reply could manage only 240 in 47.2 overs losing all their wickets. At no stage did Pakistan look like turning the heat back on the Kiwi side.

 

Vettori won an all important toss and elected to bat first as the pitch promised loads of runs to the batsmen. The opening pair did not survive long as Redmond chipped lamely to Younis Khan at mid-off and it seemed that the Pakistani bowlers might make a short work of the Kiwi batting line-up. McCullum was joined in the middle by Guptill and two put their head down to set a strong base. After the batting debacle in the previous game the pair was determined not to let the repeat of events as they did not let themselves be bogged down. The pair concentrated in taking the singles rather than trying to find the boundaries and when the bowlers erred in their line and length they gave the desired treatment.

 

The pair slowly but surely began to accelerate their scoring as they found the boundaries and Younis Khan began to have an issue on his hands. Gul and Aamer who were spot on early began to bleed runs and Younis Khan was forced to ring in the changes. Razzaq was brought on to rein in the rising run-rate but he proved to be ineffectual. After an indifferent first over McCullum took Razzaq to the cleaners as he deposited him over the square-leg fence and then send him crashing through point as the momentum picked up. Guptill then joined the fun as he deposited Ajmal over the long-on fence and McCullum unfurled a ferocious slog sweep off Afridi to swing the pendulum back in the favour of the Kiwis. Guptill was in a mood to attack and he continued to do so as he deposited Afridi over long-on and Younis Khan had some serious concerns. The pair added 126 runs in 19.5 overs but the wicket of Guptill changed the complexion of the innings.

 

Guptill could not contain his urge to attack and he limply chipped an easy catch to covers and Taylor did not last long when he inside-edged Afridi back onto his stumps. Styris departed when he failed to beat a direct hit from Younis Khan at extra cover and it seemed that the Kiwi side was losing the plot. Vettori joined McCullum and the two had their task cut. The pair shelved their big shots and concentrated in keeping the scoreboard moving with singles. McCullum soon reached a well deserved century – his second of his career – and Oram used the long handle to get some handy runs late in the innings.

 

Pakistan in reply got off to a steady start as Butt and Latif ensured that their side had the resources for final assault. The opening pair added 77 in 16.2 overs but the required run rate slowly crept past the seven run mark. Butt and Latif were unable to score rapidly, primarily because of New Zealand's excellent in-fielding, which prevented the singles. Latif was fluent but his innings was cut short by Daniel Vettori, by trapping the opener lbw with an arm ball.

 

Younis Khan joined Butt in the middle and the two consolidated the Pakistani innings. The pair looked quite good in the middle but the skipper’s innings was terminated when Ross Taylor took a stunner at midwicket. Afridi promoted up the order to inject some momentum into the dying innings did not trouble the scorers when he clipped a Styris delivery straight to Taylor at midwicket and the Pakistani innings derailed. Akmal, promoted above Yousuf, failed to do the needful when he chipped lamely to short covers off Styris who was having a field day with the ball.

 

Salman Butt made a serene fifty which lacked momentum and he was cruelly run-out when he fell victim to poor calling from Yousuf. A superb arm ball from an impressive Vettori accounted for Yousuf and the Pakistani innings was reeling at 158 for 6. With the required run-rate creeping past ten run mark and literally no resources left Malik and Razzaq began to throw their bat around. The pair took the batting powerplay in the 39th over and the runs began to flow. After playing a few lusty blows Malik finally chipped low to covers where Southee took a sharp tumbling catch and with it the hopes of a Pakistan win evaporated.

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