Pakistan defeated New Zealand in the 1st one-day international of the 3-match series by 6 wickets played at the National Stadium, Karachi. This is Pakistan’s first victory in any format of the game since they defeated New Zealand by 7 wickets in the first semi-final of the T20 world cup in 2022. New Zealand has played test matches mostly after the T20 world cup final and they failed to win a single match. Pakistan won the game with 11 balls to spare and go 1-0 up in the series.
Babar Azam called correctly at the toss and he invited his opponents to bat first on a slowish track. Naseem Shah struck in the very first over and removed Devon Conway for a duck. Finn Allen played some shots before he was scalped by Waseem Jr. Williamson and Mitchell tried to steady the Kiwi ship with a 58-run partnership but the latter became the first international victim of Usama Mir, the debutant.
Following Williamson, the wickets kept tumbling before Southee and Santner put on a quickfire 31-run partnership to push the Kiwi’s total beyond 250. New Zealand finished on 255 for 9. Naseem was the pick of the bowlers with his 2nd 5-wicket haul in his 4th match. The debutant Usama finished with 2 wickets.
Pakistan’s chase did not begin well as they had planned. Imam-ul-Haq was dismissed for 11 by Michael Bracewell. However, the comeback man Fakhar Zaman and the skipper put together a 78-run partnership to put Pakistan’s run chase back on track. Babar then stitched another 60-run partnership with Mohammad Rizwan. By the time Babar was dismissed, it was only a matter of time before Pakistan crossed the finishing line. Rizwan remained unbeaten on 77 and saw his tome home.
Naseem Shah was adjudged the player of the match for his brilliant spell of 5 for 57 from his full quota of overs. The 2nd ODI between Pakistan and New Zealand will be played at the same venue on January 11.