PAK vs NZ: Devon Conway, bowlers shine in New Zealand's series-leveling win in Karachi
New Zealand defeated Pakistan by 79 runs in the second ODI despite a fighting half-century from Babar Azam.
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New Zealand achieved a resounding victory against Pakistan in the second ODI at the National Stadium in Karachi to draw level in the three-match series. The visitors posted a par 261 runs on the board thanks to Devon Conway's fluent century, and his bowlers then completed a clinical performance to thwart the hosts comfortably by 79 runs.
The Pakistani reply was off to a stuttering start after both their openers Fakhar Zaman and Imam-ul-Haq were sent packing inside the first four overs of the chase. Although Mohammad Rizwan and his skipper Babar Azam steadied the ship after those early blows, their languid approach kept the Kiwis in the game.
Rizwan fell to a brilliant delivery from Mitchell Santner as the New Zealand spinners started dictating terms in the match. Haris Sohail was trapped in front by the part-time spin of Glenn Phillips, and the Kiwi then sent the dangerous Agha Salman packing with a brilliant direct hit.
Babar waged a lone war from one end, and it needed a superb bit of glovework from Tom Latham to dismiss the Pakistani skipper in the dying stages of the match. Williamson's decision to play an extra tweaker played dividends as the visitors won the second game by 79 runs to level the three-match series.
New Zealand collapsed after Devon Conway and Kane Williamson's commanding partnership
Earlier in the match, Kane Williamson won the toss and elected to bat first on a Karachi Surface that had plenty of assistance for the slower bowlers. While the pitch was conducive for spin bowling, it was Pakistani fast bowling sensation Naseem Shah, who drew the first blood after dismissing the explosive Finn Allen in the very first over of the match.
However, that was the only joy for the hosts in the early stages of the match as the Kiwis took charge of the proceedings. It was the experienced batting pair of Devon Conway and Kane Williamson who made the Pakistani bowlers toil hard on the field during their mammoth 181-run stand for the second wicket.
Things were looking bleak for the home side before Naseem returned to send back Conway just after he brought his second century in ODIs. From thereon, it was the Mohammad Nawaz show as the left-arm spinner turned the game on its head. Nawaz got rid of the well-set Kiwi skipper, and then went on to scalp the wickets of Daryl Mitchell and Tom Latham in quick succession to rattle the New Zealand middle order.
The visitors were not able to recover from there and eventually managed a par total of 261 runs, thanks to some late riposte from Mitchell Santner. Mohammad Nawaz was the star with the ball, grabbing a spectacular four-for to bring his side back in the game.
Here is how Twitter reacted to New Zealand's resounding victory despite Babar Azam's best efforts:
Not the ideal run-chase as far as Pakistan is concern!— Ahmad Shahzad 🇵🇰 (@iamAhmadshahzad) January 11, 2023
Brilliant outing with the ball for @mnawaz94 & once again maturely supported by @iamusamamir in middle overs & controlled the flow of runs with some really tight proper leg spin bowling.
All eyes on finals now.#PakvsNZ
Well played NZ. Some huge positives for Pakistan, great comeback by the bowlers especially @mnawaz94. Good fight by @babarazam258. It is 1-1. Backing and supporting our team to win the series in the final ODI. Great series going down to the wire.— Shadab Khan (@76Shadabkhan) January 11, 2023
Captain Babar Azam's knock goes in vain as New Zealand levels the three-match ODI series by 1-1.#CricTracker #PAKvNZ #KaneWilliamson pic.twitter.com/mgsOw3j60w— CricTracker (@Cricketracker) January 11, 2023
An exceptional all-round performance from New Zealand in the second ODI forces the series into a decider 🙌#PAKvNZ | 📝: https://t.co/mvcvkr4s9N pic.twitter.com/og4pPLx7W2— ICC (@ICC) January 11, 2023
New Zealand level the series 1-1 with a game to go.#PAKvNZ | #TayyariKiwiHai pic.twitter.com/FV4uLZfArN— Pakistan Cricket (@TheRealPCB) January 11, 2023
Nevermind! This makes 3rd ODI more exciting at 1-1. Best of luck team Pakistan we are always behind you♥️ #PAKvNZ— Muhammad Haris (@iamharis63) January 11, 2023
Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan are indeed questionable for batting with a slow scoring rate as per runrate requirement. This criticism is 100% justified!😐 #PAKvNZ— Arfa Feroz Zake (@ArfaSays_) January 11, 2023
A terrific spell from @mnawaz94 👏#PAKvNZ | #TayyariKiwiHai pic.twitter.com/wa2Ji1vr3i— Pakistan Cricket (@TheRealPCB) January 11, 2023
Captain Babar Azam - "The pitch normally favours batters in the second innings at Karachi but surprisingly the pitch behaved differently in the second ODI." #PAKvNZ— Arfa Feroz Zake (@ArfaSays_) January 11, 2023
New Zealand win the 2nd ODI and level the series 2-0!#PAKvNZ #UnitedWeWin pic.twitter.com/cw6b2gN6Lq— Islamabad United (@IsbUnited) January 11, 2023