Karachi: Skipper Misbah-ul-Haq century went in vain even after Pakistan’s full-fledged national team scored formidable 313 runs as second string New Zealand Board’s President XI thrashed Pakistan’s bowlers and achieved the target with six wickets in hand in 49.2 overs.
Pakistan batted first in the warm-up match and was reduced to 2-9 in the third over after experienced players Mohammad Hafeez and Younus Khan losing their wickets cheaply for 2 and 1 respectively. Hafeez got run out while wicketkeeper Tom Blundnell hauled a catch when Younus edged on Kyle Jamieson’s delivery.
Ahmed Shahzad and captain Misbah then put 34 runs before the former lost his wicket while being run out for 37 runs. Misbah managed another 38-run partnership with Sohaib Maqsood (15 runs), before Todd Astle removed Sohaib. The captain then found good support from Umar Akmal, who scored 68 off 59 balls to bring the score to 186-5. Ed Nuttle broke the partnership hauling Akmal’s wicket.
Misbah then added 47 runs with wicket-keeper batsman Sarfraz Ahmed, who scored 19 before Logan van Beek removed him. Van Beek also removed swashbuckling all-rounder Shahid Afridi for a duck.
Misbah then put 34 runs with tail-ender Wahab Riaz and lost his wicket after being caught off Shawn Hicks’ bowl. By then the team had accumulated 268-8 46.4 overs. Wahab and new batsman on crease Ehsan Adil then put whirlwind 36 runs off 13 balls before the former lost his wicket to Shawn Hicks. Wahab scored 30 off 21 balls. Ehsan added nine more runs before losing his wicket to Jamieson as Pakistan scored 313-10 in 49.3 overs. He scored 21 off nine balls.
New Zealand in response started well with openers Henry Nicholls and Michael Pollard put on board 93 runs. Pollard lost his wicket when Sohaib caught him off Ehsan’s bowl. Pollard scored 35.
Nicholls and new man on crease Tim Seifert steered their side and took the command of the match. Nicholls scored 104 runs before being run-out. Seifert continued to show impressive fireworks scoring unbeaten 115 runs off 89 balls with the help of 14 boundaries and three six to help his team reach the victory total in 49.2 overs.
Ehsan captured two wickets but was very expensive conceding 81 runs off 9.2 overs. Another pacer Sohail Khan conceded 66 off ten overs taking one wicket. Wahab Riaz went wicket-less with 61 runs in ten overs. Shahid Afridi also remained wicket-less while conceding 42 in ten overs. Ahmed Shahzad conceded 43 in six overs while Younus also bowled four overs without any success conceding 17 runs.
Pakistan is in New Zealand for a two-match series against hosts. Pakistan and New Zealand will play matches on January 31 and February 3. The series and the warm-ups are very important for Pakistan to acclimatize Down Under before the World Cup 2015 explodes into action from February 14.
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