SHARJAH - New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson led from the front as Black Caps hammered sorry Pakistan by four wickets in the second One Day International played here Friday to square the series 1-1.

Williamson played an unbeaten match-winning knock of 69 runs to help New Zealand came back strongly in the five-match series. New Zealand played better and fearless cricket unlike of their opponents, who never looked in the match as inconsistency cost Pakistan team dearly.

New Zealand openers gave Kiwis a wonderful 103 runs opening stand. Both Dean Brownlie and Anton Devcich hit Pakistani bowlers at will. It was the best New Zealand opening stand after quite a while which was finally broken when Brownlie was clean bowled by Shahid Afridi after scoring polished 47 runs.

Devcich was playing excellently before needlessly getting himself run out after scoring 57. His departure raised hopes for Pakistan as they took next three wickets in quick succession. Haris Sohail  bowled superbly at a time when all the bowlers were getting rough treatment.

However, Williamson held Kiwis innings together and kept the scoreboard ticking. He was ably supported by wicketkeeper batsman Luke Ronchi who was in supreme control before being brilliantly caught at long off by Sohail Tanvir of the bowling of Afridi but that was too late to make much impact on the match result. Luke made quick-fire 36, hitting 6 boundaries. Haris took 3 for 47 while Afridi also chipped in with 2 for 47. Pakistan team management should have by now realized that it makes no sense of playing with six batsmen and being one bowler short will keep them struggling. When Ahmed Shahzad, Asad Shafique, Younus Khan are not making runs, then team should be changed without any delays and Pakistan should have played with regular spinner Zulfiqar Babar. Pakistan team management is not taking New Zealand series seriously; they are gambling and just want to oblige blue-eyed players in the name of selecting squad for World Cup.

Umar Akmal is the most unlucky player to have been born in this part of the world where he is not being utilised properly. Sarfraz Ahmed is not scoring runs and nor his wicket keeping is up to the mark. Rather than continuing with Sarfraz, team management must explore options and select team purely on merit. Misbah limped off from the field in the third over, after pulling his muscle and Akmal replaced him in the fielding. Earlier, a half-century by M Hafeez helped a struggling Pakistan to post a decent total of 252 runs as whole team was bowled out in 48.3 overs.

Pakistan lost three quick wickets for just 21 runs after Misbah winning the toss and decided to bat first. Opener Hafeez then played with responsibility and kept Pakistan on track but wickets continued to falter in regular intervals, which restricted Pakistan’s progress.

Younus and Asad Shafiq failed to justify their selection once again as they were out cheaply. Shahzad was out without disturbing scorers. Younus soon followed the suit despite having a life, when he was given out LBW but replays showed M McClenaghan had overstepped. McClenaghan took sweet revenge in the same over as Younus offered a regulation catch to slip fielder. Asad was clean bowled by Matt Henry while trying to play cross batted stroke and his stumps were uprooted. Then Hafeez steadied Pakistan innings with healthy partnerships with Haris and Misbah during his 76 runs innings. Haris scored 33 before offering a simple catch. Misbah was on 47 when he was given out caught behind. He took review but was given out by the TV umpire as well. Afridi added 27 on 14 balls as his temperament again took better of him and he gifted his wicket in his usual and careless manner.

Matt Henry was the most successful Kiwi bowler with 4 for 45 while McClenaghan chipped in with 3 for 56. Adam Milne grabbed 2 for 53 and Anderson clinched 1 for 35.

Scoreboard

PAKISTAN:

M Hafeez c Latham b Henry    76

Ahmed Shehzad c Ronchi b Henry    0

Younis Khan c Taylor b McClenaghan    6

Asad Shafiq b Henry    1

Haris Sohail c Taylor b Anderson    33

Misbah-ul Haq c Ronchi b Henry    47

Sarfraz Ahmed c Latham b McClenaghan    23

Shahid Afridi c Vettori b Milne    27

Wahab Riaz c Taylor b Milne    14

Sohail Tanvir lbw b McClenaghan    14

M Irfan not out    0

EXTRAS: (lb1, nb1, w9)    11

TOTAL: (all out; 48.3 overs)    252

FOW: 1-1, 2-11, 3-20, 4-97, 5-163, 6-172, 7-209, 8-231, 9-248

BOWLING: Henry 10-0-45-4, McClenaghan 9.3-0-56-3, Milne 10-0-53-2, Vettori 10-0-48-0, Devcich 2-0-14-0, Anderson 7-0-35-1

NEW ZEALAND:

D Brownlie b Afridi    47

A Devcich run out    58

K Williamson not out    70

R Taylor c Ahmed b Sohail    2

T Latham c Tanvir b Sohail    3

C Anderson b Sohail    10

L Ronchi c Tanvir b Afridi    36

D Vettori not out    13

EXTRAS: (lb6, nb2, w8)    16

TOTAL: (for six wkts; 46 overs)    255

FOW: 1-103, 2-129, 3-138, 4-148, 5-167, 6-225

BOWLING: Tanvir 6-0-30-0, Irfan 10-0-50-0, Riaz 9-0-58-0, Afridi 10-0-47-2, Sohail 9-0-48-3, Shehzad 1-0-7-0, Shafiq 1-0-9-0

TOSS: Pakistan

UMPIRES: Ahsan Raza (PAK) and Richard Illingworth (ENG)

TV UMPIRE: Joel Wilson (WIS)

MATCH REFEREE: Roshan Mahanama (SRI)