Amir's 3 Wicket Haul Couldn't Save Pakistan, Fell 70 runs Short

Written by  AFP Monday, 25 January 2016 17:18

WELLINGTON: Pakistan couldn't muster its win against New Zealand though its top fast bowler Mohammad Amir picked up three wickets for 28 before was injured at the start of his ninth over in the first ODI at Wellington’s Basin Reserve on Monday.

New Zealand beats Pakistan by 70 runs in the opening one-day international.

The 23-year-old fast bowler, still working his way back into favor after a five-year ban for spot-fixing, began second innings of his ODI career with a wide ball however, the player was given the arduous duty of toiling into the strong Wellington wind in his spell.

He settled the full range of skills in his armoury was deployed.

He took one wicket upwind and was rewarded with a change of ends for his second spell when he took two more with a range of swing and seam deliveries and well-placed bouncers.

The player sustained injury in his left leg after giving his best during the match.

Proving to be consistently inconsistent, Pakistan have faced another defeat this time in the first one-day international (ODI) against New Zealand at Basin Reserve in Wellington on Monday.

New Zealand were on the ropes at 99 for 6, and already missing their three most experienced players, were further hamstrung by an injury to Mitchell McClenaghan. Yet, as they have done time and again at home in recent years, they swung, scrapped and willed themselves to a 70-run victory, finding heroes in unlikely places, and fielding impeccably in defence of their 280 for 8.

In the chain of events, New Zealand fast bowler Mitchell McClenaghan has suffered a hairline fracture just above his left eye.He picked up the injury when a bouncer burst through the gap in his helmet in the final over of New Zealand's innings on Monday. It rules him out of the second ODI in Napier, and puts him in doubt for the final match on Sunday, as he is scheduled to undergo minor cosmetic surgery on Friday in Auckland.

McClenaghan was batting on 31 from 17 deliveries when the penultimate ball of the innings - from Anwar Ali - squeezed between the peak of his helmet, and its grille to strike him flush on the left eye. Slow-motion replays showed the ball had hit him with considerable force.

Pakistan's seamers shone brightly in the first quarter of the match, as Anwar Ali, Mohammad Amir and Mohammad Irfan all sent down intense spells, but all the ground they earned in those initial bursts was ceded by the end of New Zealand's innings.

The pursuit began sedately; Pakistan's openers managing only 23 from the first seven overs before a handsome leg-side six for Azhar Ali enlivened the start a little, if briefly. But he was out top-edging a heave against Elliott soon after, and when Ahmed Shehzad holed out to the same bowler soon after, Pakistan's crawling beginning was not even for the security of wickets.

The scoring sped up after the Powerplay, but the acceleration was too gradual. By the end of the 15th over, the require rate had risen to 6.6. Azam and Mohammad Hafeez put on a sage 81-run stand off 93 balls to move Pakistan to a reasonable position - Azam especially quick to crash the short balls to the fence - but the required rate only kept heading north. When Hafeez was swallowed at long-on for 42 in the 27th over, Pakistan still needed 163 from 141 balls. Sohaib Maqsood continued his poor tour with a 16-ball 10, before Azam himself fell, having crossed fifty. Aiming to make something of a flagging chase, he tried to pull a short Anderson ball, and sent the top edge to midwicket.

There was a sliver of hope as long as Sarfraz Ahmed was at the crease, but having hit three fours in his busy innings, he cracked a full delivery to deep midwicket in the 43rd over. He had made 30 from 29. With him went any real chance of a Pakistan victory.

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