Whirlwind Phillips knock seals thrilling series win for NZ against Pakistan
NZ register first ODI series victory in the sub-continent since 2008 after snatching win from Pakistan’
New Zealand 281 for 8 (Phillips 63*, Williamson 53, Conway 52, Salman 2-42) beat Pakistan 280 for 9 (Fakhar 101, Rizwan 77, Southee 3-56) by two wickets
Glenn Phillips produced a counterattacking masterclass to snatch the game – and with it, the series – from Pakistan’s grasp, clattering an unbeaten 63 off 42 balls to see New Zealand through in their chase of 281. The hosts had one hand on the series trophy when the visitors required another 76 from 71 deliveries with only four wickets in hand. Phillips, already on 16 off 8 balls at the time after pumping two sixes, sealed New Zealand’s first ODI series win of at least two matches against Pakistan on their own soil with 11 balls to spare.
Despite an upset stomach, Phillips cracked four fours and sixes each to dramatically turn the match in a matter of a few overs. New Zealand required 75 off the last 69 balls when he chipped Mohammad Wasim over mid-on for four, before swinging Haris Rauf for six over deep midwicket next over. And when Wasim tried the slower ball soon after, it was deposited wide of long-on for six more.
As a result, New Zealand needed less than a run a ball with nine overs left, at which point Phillips belted Rauf through extra cover for four more. He brought up his fifty off 28 deliveries – New Zealand’s second-fastest against Pakistan in ODIs – in the 43rd over. And as if to stamp out the very last bit of hope Pakistan had, Mohammad Rizwan dropped Phillips next ball, failing to hold on as a short one from Usama Mir turned away and took the outside edge.
Had that been taken, New Zealand would have been left in a tricky situation, with only Mitchell Santner and the tail to get 35 runs from seven overs with three wickets in hand. The feeling of what-could-have-been may well have lingered in the opposition’s mind as they watched Phillips hit the winning runs.
New Zealand had collapsed from 160 for 2 to 205 for 6, giving Pakistan a sniff. Their chase had been set up by fifties from Kane Williamson and Devon Conway, who added 75 for the second wicket. Conway fell for 52 after slicing to point off Agha Salman, who also had Daryl Mitchell caught in the 31st over. Williamson getting run-out for 53, and Bracewell and Tom Latham chopping on happened in quick succession, as New Zealand lost their way.
Fakhar hundred, Rizwan fifty in vain
Earlier in the day, it was an innings of three parts from Pakistan: reduced to 21 for 2, they needed Fakhar Zaman and Rizwan to bail them out with a partnership of 153, before Salman took charge in the death. Fakhar hit 101 in an innings not typically associated with him, taking 122 deliveries to get to the mark, while Rizwan fell for a quick 77 from 74 balls. Those remained the only notable contributions from the top five, before Salman hit four fours and a six in an enterprising innings of 45. When Ish Sodhi cleaned Rizwan up with a googly in the 34th over, at least 300 looked possible but regular wickets kept the hosts in check on a surface where the ball didn’t turn.
Pakistan had lost Shan Masood – playing his first ODI since March 2019 – and Babar Azam early, when Williamson reviewed a not-out decision against Masood and Latham stumped Babar for the third time in as many matches. Williamson seemed to be the only one who believed Masood had edged behind, before Babar played for the turn and lost his balance in the crease.
That meant Fakhar and Rizwan had to start from scratch. Williamson had introduced spin as early as the fifth over, with Fakhar deciding to break the shackles when he tickled and punched Santner for fours in the tenth. Overall though, the left-hander was happy just to nudge it around while Rizwan was busier at the crease.
And once Rizwan fell in the 34th over, New Zealand’s substitute fielders played a part in nearly all of the wickets to fall from there on: Henry Nicholls ran Fakhar and Haris Sohail out, and caught Mir at deep midwicket and Doug Bracewell sent Salman back 45 when the batter holed out to deep square leg. As if to return the favour, it was Pakistan’s substitute Tayyab Tahir, who ran Finn Allen out to give his side a breakthrough.
But eventually, Phillips would have the final say, putting into oblivion Fakhar’s century, Rizwan’s attacking knock and perhaps everything else that had happened on the tour.
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