Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Pak vs NZ: Taylor scores a ton as NZ beat Pak by 110 runs

Kiwi Ross Taylor scored an unbeaten 131 as New Zealand beat Pakistan by a massive 110-run margin during their World CupGroup A in Kandy on Tuesday. Score

Chasing 303 at the Pallekele International Cricket Stadium, Pakistan were bundled out for 192.

In a similar start to the New Zealand innings, Pakistan too lost their opener early with Kiwi paceman Tim Southee claiming Mohammad Hafeez in the second over of the innings off an LBW decision when the score was 5-1. Hafeez managed to put just five on board.

But the similarity ended there. As far from forging any partnerships, Pakistan lost three more wickets in quick succession. From 23-1 at the start of the seventh over they fell to 23-4 in the eight over.

Misbah-ul-Haq, who has often bailed Pakistan out of similar situations, too could not do much as Southee claimed him the 15th over of the innings with a ball that was moving away from him. It took the edge of Misbah's bat and Scott Styris did the rest in the gully region. He fell for 7 and Pakistan to 45/5.

In came skipper Shahid Afridi, but after staying at the crease for 10 minutes he too threw his wicket away. A regulation ball from Jacob Oram caved in to strike against his stumps. Afridi fell for 17 as Pakistan fell to 66/6.

Finally, Umar Akmal and Abdul Razzaq tried hard to salvage the innings and they did succeed in it to some extent. But again pressure of the target bogged them down and Umar departed on 38 with Nathan McCullum claiming his wicket in the 29th over of the innings. He fell for 38 and Pakistan lost their seventh wicket for 102/7.

Soon Abdur Rehman too fell leg-before on Nathan's ball that was coming in to him. He went for the review but even that could not help him and Pakistan lost their eighth wicket at the score of 125.

Umar Gul remained unbeaten on 34 even as the rest made hasty exits and the end result was - 192 all out in 41.4 overs.

New Zealand innings

Earlier, New Zealand's Ross Taylor scored an unbeaten 131 as the Kiwis put 302/7.

This was post New Zealand skipper Daniel Vettori's decision to bat first.

However, the innings didn't really start according to Vettori's plans as Shoaib Akhtar bowled out Kiwi opener Brendon McCullum in the first over.

New Zealand went down to 8/1 in the 4th ball of the first over. And it was delivery that completely deceived the batsman. The ball nipped back off the seam after pitching on the off and entered the bat-pad gate of McCullum and before he could realise what had happened his stumps were off.

Akhtar proved the point that he does not like being hit for a six and that's what McCullum had done before he fell.

Umar Gul didn't have a point to prove but still he got his man in fact his eased Jamie How's misery, who was struggling at the crease. The angled into to hit against the batsman's pads and he departed on 4 with an LBW written against his name in the scoreboard. New Zealand fell to 55/2 in the 13th over.

Two early wickets and the Kiwis were running for cover. But opener Martin Guptill and Ross Taylor decided to attempt a revival. They got on with a partnership ensuring the New Zealand score kept ticking. The two helped New Zealand cross the 100-rn mark even as Pakistan found it difficult to control them.

But trust Pakistan skipper Shahid Afridi to come up with a solution when things go the wrong way. And he came up with one by scalping Guptill when the New Zealand score was 112. A flighted delivery deceived the batsman who failed to read the ball and soon it struck down his stumps. He fell for 57 as the Kiwis lost their third wicket.

With Guptill gone, the Pakistan bowlers got busy once again. And this time it was Mohammad Hafeez who got a wicket. He claimed James Franklin leg-before on 1 and Kiwis lost their fourth wicket on 113.

However, the game was far from over as Ross Taylor was still in the middle and new man Scott Styris has been in such situations before. Besides, the situation wasn't exactly demanding and the two took up the challenge forging another partnership.

The two had put on 62 runs for the fifth wicket before Gul decided that it was enough. And a rather straight ball from Gul proved fatal for Styris, who failed to connect and soon an LBW was written against his initials in the score board. He fell for 28 as the Kiwis lost their fifth wicket on 175/5.

Then it was time for pinch hitter Nathan McCullum to come to the fore and he did that in spectacular fashion hitting a six off skipper Shahid Afridi and then repeated the shot in Gul's over. But Gul had the last laugh as he clean bowled him on the very next ball to reduced New Zealand to 210/6. Nathan scored 19 off the 10 balls he faced. 

Taylor, who remained unbeaten on 131, helped New Zealand to 302/7 in 50 overs.

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