Pakistan and New Zealand locked horns in a warm-up fixture for the ODI World Cup 2023 at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium, Hyderabad. Pakistan captain Babar Azam won the toss and elected to bat first. The decision was vindicated by his batters as they posted a massive score of 345/5 in their allotted 50 overs.
Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan starred with the bat as the duo added 114 runs for the third wicket off 110 balls after the early dismissals of the openers. Babar went on to score 80 off 84 balls with the help of eight fours and two sixes while Mohammad Rizwan ended up scoring 103 off 94 smashing nine fours and two sixes.
Saud Shakeel also played a quick-fire knock of 75 off 53 balls to propel Pakistan’s total to 345/5 in their allotted 50 overs. In the second innings, Rachin Ravindra played a breathtaking innings of 97 off 72 balls smashing 16 fours and a six.
Courtesy of his innings, New Zealand pushed Pakistan on the backfoot straight away. Kane Williamson, who returned to the pitch after a long hiatus due to an injury suffered during IPL 2023, also looked in fine touch playing a knock of 54 off 50 before retiring.
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During the second innings, a bizarre on-field moment was witnessed as Tom Latham smacked Agha Salman for a four off a double-bouncing delivery. The incident took place on the second ball of the 24th over as Salman bowled a real short delivery which bounced twice before reaching Lathem way down the leg side. The Kiwi batter made full use of the freebie presented to him and played it towards fine leg for a boundary. The bizarre delivery left everyone present on the ground in splits.
Here is the video of the shot from Tom Latham:
— Rishabh Beniwal (@RishabhBeniwal) September 29, 2023
New Zealand eventually chased down the high-scoring target of 345 runs with 5 wickets in hand and 6.2 overs to spare. Rachin Ravindra missed his century and was dismissed for 97 by Salman Agha. But his innings had already laid the foundation for New Zealand’s victory. Mark Chapman also played a crucial knock of 65 off 51 balls to help New Zealand cross the finish line.