Bangladesh and Pakistan will lock horns with each other in their last group stage match on July 5 at Lord’s and as things stand, that tie could very well prove to be a virtual quarter-final
Pakistan beat New Zealand comfortably by six wickets after chasing down 238 runs in their World Cup match at Edgbaston Cricket Ground in Birmingham Wednesday.
This is the third win for Pakistan from seven matches, and they are now equal with Bangladesh with seven points each.
But the Tigers are ahead in the points table at the moment, in fifth position, with a better net run rate (-0.133), compared to Pakistan (-0.976).
Pakistan will face Afghanistan in their next game Saturday, while Bangladesh will take on India at Edgbaston Tuesday.
Bangladesh and Pakistan will lock horns with each other in their last group stage match on July 5 at Lord’s and as things stand, that tie could very well prove to be a virtual quarter-final.
Pakistan chased down their total with five balls to spare.
Babar Azam made a brilliant unbeaten century of 101, while Haris Sohail scored 68.
The No 3 batsman played a superb knock off 127 deliveries to steer Pakistan to a crucial win.
The right-hander struck 11 boundaries en route to his 10th ODI hundred, and first in the World Cup.
During the chase, Pakistan lost the wicket of openers Fakhar Zaman (nine) and Imam-ul-Haq (19) early.
But Babar batted confidently and formed a 66-run partnership with Mohammad Hafeez for the third wicket.
After Hafeez’s (32) departure, Babar added 126 with Haris for the fourth wickets to seal the match.
In-form Haris scored 68 off 76 deliveries with five fours and two sixes before being caught short of the crease.
It was an elegant innings from the right-handed Babar, who crossed 3,000 runs in ODIs in just 68 innings.
Earlier, New Zealand won the toss and elected to bat first.
The match started half an hour later due to gloomy weather.
Amir, Afridi shine
Pakistan made a brilliant start as their in-form pacer Mohammad Amir took the wicket of opener Martin Guptill in the first ball of the second over.
The Kiwis were under pressure straightaway as Amir and left-arm paceman Shaheen Shah Afirdi bowled tight line and length and did not give any chance to the opposition batsmen to free their arms.
Afridi bowled superbly in his first spell and took three wickets - Colin Munro (12), Ross Taylor (three) and Tom Latham (one).
Afridi’s first spell figure read 7-3-11-3.
New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson held one end but leg-spinner Shadab Khan took the important wicket of Williamson in the 27th over to make the situation difficult for the Kiwis.
Williamson scored 41 off 69 deliveries before being caught by Pakistan captain and wicket-keeper Sarfraz Ahmed.
Neesham-De Grandhomme rebuild
Jimmy Neesham and Colin de Grandhomme then made a solid stand of 132 runs for the sixth wicket to lift the gloom for the Kiwis and helped them post a decent total.
Neesham and De Grandhomme started to rebuild the innings slowly but in the late stage played some beautiful shots, putting on 132.
De Grandhomme got out in the 48th over after hitting half a dozen fours and one six.
Neesham was brilliant all through his innings and finished the innings by smashing a six off the last ball of the innings against left-arm seamer Wahab Riaz.
The left-hander was unbeaten on 97 off 112 deliveries with five fours and three sixers.
NEW ZEALAND INNINGS R B
Guptill b Amir 5 4
Munro c Haris b Afridi 12 17
Williamson c Sarfaraz b Shadab 41 69
Taylor c Sarfaraz b Afridi 3 8
Latham c Sarfaraz b Afridi 1 14
Neesham not out 97 112
De Grandhomme run out (Amir) 64 71
Santner not out 5 5
Extras (b 2, lb 3, w 4) 9
Total (50 Overs) 237/6
Fall Of Wickets
1-5 (Guptill), 2-24 (Munro), 3-38 (Taylor), 4-46 (Latham), 5-83 (Williamson), 6-215 (De Grandhomme)
Hafeez 7-0-22-0, Amir 10-0-67-1, Afridi 10-3-28-3, Wasim 3-0-17-0, Shadab 10-0-43-1, Riaz 10-0-55-0
PAKISTAN INNINGS R B
Imam c Guptill b Ferguson 19 29
Fakhar c Guptill b Boult 9 10
Babar not out 101 127
Hafeez c Ferguson b Williamson 32 50
Haris run out (Guptill) 68 76
Sarfaraz not out 5 3
Extras (w 7) 7
Total (49.1 Overs) 241/4
Fall Of Wickets
1-19 (Fakhar), 2-44 (Imam), 3-110 (Hafeez), 4-236 (Haris)
Boult 10-0-48-1, Henry 7-0-25-0, Ferguson 8.1-0-50-1, De Grandhomme 2-0-12-0, Santner 10-0-38-0, Neesham 3-0-20-0, Williamson 8-0-39-1, Munro 1-0-9-0
Pakistan won by six wickets
MoM: Babar Azam