New Zealand has warmed up for a Tri Series with a demolition of Pakistan. The Blackcaps have proven to be too strong at home accounting for both the West Indies and Pakistan. The West Indies failed to win a single match on tour, while Pakistan need to show the form that won them the Champions Trophy in England.
Things have gone downhill for the tourist since their tour match. The Blackcaps dominated from ball one. New Zealand managed 315 runs in the first ODI batting first as Munro continued his explosive ways and Williamson staked his claim as one of the best batsmen in world cricket, behind Kohli.
The world-class bowlers in Southee and Boult exploited the home conditions perfectly, they reduced Pakistan to 13/3 in first four overs itself. Fakhar Zaman waged the lone battle and rain ended the misery for Pakistan in the first match as they lost by 61 runs (D/L method)
Pakistani batting continued where they had left in the 2nd ODI at Wellington, they crawled to 141/7 in 36 overs. The attack from Shadab & Hasan Ali revived some hopes as Pakistan ended with a respectable 246 in the first innings.
With the dangerman Munro dismissed on the third ball, Pakistan must have felt they were in with a chance. All these hopes were belted hard by Martin Guptill as he smashed 86 not out from only 71 balls to chase the adjusted target with seven balls to spare.
What followed in the third ODI made the first two performances look rosy for Pakistan. They were shot out for only 74 and even that was thanks to the fight from tailenders. At one stage, Pakistan stood at 32/8 with the risk of registering the lowest score ever in ODIs. They avoided that embarrassment but could not avoid the series loss.
The fourth ODI at Hamilton showed the strength of New Zealand lower middle order. Pakistan for once had a strong grip on the game. After putting up 262 on the board, they had the Kiwis trapped at 99/4 in 20thÂ over.
It was the gritty partnership of Williamson & Nicholls that steadied the ship but it was Colin De Grandhomme who stole the show. Showing no regards to situation what so ever, he smashed Pakistani spinners who had kept the pair quiet earlier and cantered to their seventh consecutive ODI win.
The Pakistan bowling attack has looked listless in this series, Aamir and Hasan Ali have struggled for wickets. Pakistan need to find a way to grab early wickets and salvage something from the final match of the series.