New Zealand crush Pakistan to take ODI series
NAPIER: New Zealand flayed Pakistan's attack on the way to a crushing 119-run win during the second one-day international in Napier on Tuesday.
The win means the Black Caps take the series 2-0 and maintain momentum ahead of this month's World Cup, while Pakistan look in disarray after two poor displays.
The New Zealanders ran riot after winning the toss and electing to bat, ending their innings at 369 for five, their highest ever score against Pakistan.
Kane Williamson top-scored with 112, Ross Taylor finished 102 not out with a boundary off the last ball and opener Martin Guptill also contributed 76.
In contrast, Pakistan medium pacer Bilawal Bhatti recorded the worst bowling figures in the country's ODI history, leaking 93 runs off his ten overs without taking a wicket.
Bhatti was far from the only underperformer and captain Misbah ul-Haq said his team needed to make huge improvements for the World Cup.
“We're nowhere near our best. We need to improve a lot in virtually everything, we need to improve our batting and bowling, and especially the death bowling.”
His New Zealand counterpart Brendon McCullum was thrilled at his side's form ahead of the tournament, where they are looming as a dark horse.
“We've got to be happy with where we're at,” he said.
“We've played, I guess, a couple of perfect games. The challenge for us now is to maintain that freshness and momentum we've built up.”
The 369 total was the Black Caps' fifth highest in one-day history, surpassed only by scores against second-tier nations Zimbabwe and Canada.
Pakistan's batsmen could only manage 250 in reply before they were bowled out in 43.1 overs, although they were chasing the game after a dismal bowling effort.
Only Wahab Riaz in 2013 has conceded as many runs as Bhatti in 10 overs, but he at least took two wickets against South Africa.
Ehsan Adil fared little better against the New Zealanders, taking one wicket but going for 8.5 an over.
Mohammad Irfan was the sole bowler who appeared remotely threatening, finishing with two for 52.
With Pakistan's front-line attack failing , captain Misbah-ul-Haq was forced to call on his part-timers.
But Younis Khan, Haris Sohail and Ahmed Shehzad had no answers, taking only one wicket between them at the cost of 93 runs.
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