Boult hat-trick scripts comfortable New Zealand win



Trent Boult became the third New Zealander to pick up an ODI hat-trick. © Getty

Trent Boult’s maiden One-Day International hat-trick led New Zealand to a 47-run win over Pakistan. Having set Pakistan a target of 267, Boult had them reduced to 8 for 3 so early in the chase that they never fully recovered from the jolt, eventually bowled out for 219 in the opening one-dayer of the three-match series in Abu Dhabi.

In his first match of the tour, having missed the T20I leg due to the birth of his child, Boult struck in his second over at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium on Wednesday (November 7) after getting a bit of swing straight up. He had Fakhar Zaman, Babar Azam and Mohammad Hafeez all in the shed within four overs as Pakistan were in a state of disarray.

The plan to Zaman was straight, which paid off, of cramping him for room. With the ball angling in, Zaman goes for the swish and missed it completely, only to have his stumps shattered. Azam, next ball, chased a wide yorker that flew to Ross Taylor in the slips who plucked out a sharp catch, chest-high. With Boult on a hat-trick, Hafeez was done in by one that swung just enough to hold him up at the crease. He was struck on the pads, and was plumb. However, Hafeez decided to review to no avail – something that Pakistan paid the price for later in the innings when Shadab Khan was given out off Ish Sodhi caught behind when there was daylight between bat and pad. It was a partnership that could’ve helped Pakistan rebuild from the chaos they found themselves in at one stage after Shoaib Malik and Imam ul Haq fell in quick succession with Pakistan reduced to 73 for 5 after resurrecting Pakistan’s chase after the initial damage with 63 runs.

Shadab’s wicket brought to the middle Imad Wasim, who along with skipper Sarfraz Ahmed scored respective fifties to forge a century stand to keep New Zealand at bay. Their run-rate that was bordering around the three-and-a-half-run mark gradually upped and transcended the 4.5 mark as the pair started eking out boundaries and rotating the strike effectively. The pair didn’t need to do anything fancy, but just hang in there long enough to frustrate further a New Zealand side that were running out of ideas to breach the stand. After Sarfraz’s fifty, though, he tried paddling one away, only for the ball to defect back onto his stumps as Pakistan’s hopes were dashed.

Wasim got to a half-century off 71 balls, and fell soon after, as the required run-rate well over 13 with 49 required off 21 balls. They eventually fell well short as wickets fell in a heap with Lockie Ferguson cleaning up the tail. Boult finished with 3 for 54, while Ferguson had 3-36.

Earlier, Taylor and Tom Latham starred with a century stand, but Shadab came back in to strike thrice in four balls to derail New Zealand’s innings, changing the whole complex of their innings. At one stage, New Zealand seemed set to post a total in excess of 280, but ended up with 266 instead. The pair of Taylor and Latham, added 130 runs for the fourth wicket after the visitors lost early wickets after opting to bat first. Some exceptional running between the wickets between the left-hand-right-hand pair kept Pakistan on their toes as the batsmen converted the ones into twos and with the occasional boundary had New Zealand’s run-rate increase steadily from the 20th over onwards.

Both reached their respective half-centuries, having patiently seen off Pakistan’s spinners successfully as Sarfraz went into a defensive shell. New Zealand were cruising with ten overs to play, placed comfortably at 199 for 3, looking to accelerate on their set platform. One Shadab over, however, turned the tables in Pakistan’s favour as New Zealand slipped to 210/7. Latham was first trapped leg-before, done in by flight for a brilliant 64-ball 68, Henry Nicholls was trapped lbw by a fuller one for a golden duck. Shadab was denied off a hat-trick thanks to an inside edge that Colin de Grandhomme got, but he edged next ball to slip as the legspinner picked up three wickets in four balls. Taylor, who witnessed the carnage at the other end, failed to bring his bat down in time to be castled by Wasim for 80 in the next over.

It seemed like New Zealand would fall well short of what their projected total would have been, but a brief cameo partnership from Ish Sodhi (24 off 19) and Tim Southee (20 off 21), adding 42 at a crucial stage took New Zealand over the 250-run mark, with 35 runs coming off the last three overs. Shadab, who constantly troubled New Zealand’s batsmen with his variations, finished with figures of 4 for 38, while Shaheen Afridi had 4 for 46 in eight.

Pakistan were a bit defensive to start off. A bit of bounce, coupled with a bit of movement did George Worker in early on, with Afridi bowling brilliant lengths and lines, while Hasan Ali was a bit all over the place, over-pitching consistently. He couldn’t get his game right on the day, being taken apart for 62 runs in nine overs. With a Colin Munro, who still seemed to be in T20 mode, going after every delivery, instead of attempting to build a partnership, Kane Williamson had to keep his trademark calm. Munro was dropped by Babar in the slips when on 18, but couldn’t push on, before being dismissed for 29. He reviewed a leg-before decision, which was a poor one in the end, after having been trapped plumb by Afridi.

Williamson and Taylor steadied the ship with a 42-run stand before Shadab struck in his opening over to get the skipper. Hafeez was first brought into the attack immediately to build pressure on the left-hander Latham. Taylor expressed concern regarding Mohammad Hafeez’s bowling action which led to a bit of anxious moments between the sides. The umpires had to intervene, as Sarfraz and Taylor were involved in a barrage of exchange of words. Hafeez bowled six overs for just 23 runs.

Brief scores: New Zealand 266/9 in 50 overs (Ross Taylor 80, Tom Latham 68; Shadab Khan 4-38, Shaheen Afridi 4-46) beat Pakistan 219 in 47.2 overs (Sarfraz Ahmed 64, Imad Wasim 50; Trent Boult 3-54, Lockie Ferguson 3-36) by 47 runs.

© Cricbuzz


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