After largely expecting Pakistan to be a better opponent, they have treaded on the same path that the earlier visitors, Windies, did. A whitewash was among the least looked-forward to outcomes in this series but that's how much the gap was between the two sides. Stronger teams generally grab a mile when given an inch. But the tourists were given a mile on more than one occasion and they let it slip inch by inch. Now, there are the T20Is to look forward to. Will the visitors change the story-line then? Join us on the 22nd of January, 2017 at 1600 local time (0300 GMT) for the first of the three T20Is. Till then, take care, ta-ta! Meanwhile, that's not all for today with respect to the sport. You can switch tabs to catch all the action in the Australia-England ODI, where the hosts have put up a reasonable total on board or catch Sri Lanka take on Bangladesh at the latter's home in their tri-series encounter involving Zimbabwe.
Kane Williamson, the New Zealand skipper, says that the feeling of blanking an opposition 5-0 is great. Opines that the opponents gave tough fights and none of the wins were easy. About the wickets, he says they were on the slower side and that's where the Pakistan bowlers made life difficult for them. Lauds his slow bowlers for adapting to these conditions. States that it was frustrating today to not shut the game off (after having Pakistan 57/5). States that Matt Henry was raring to go and he has done well to have made the opportunity count. Mentions that he is looking forward to the T20Is as he opines they could be more competitive.
Sarfraz Ahmed, the Pakistan captain, credits the opposition for their performance. Rues his side's batting failures for the final outcome. Sounds optimistic about their bowling, stating that they have often got them in good positions in the series. Reckons that the youngsters will step up in the upcoming T20s. He is visibly disappointed with his team's performance as he walks away with a sulky face.
Martin Guptill is also the Player of the Series. He is interviewed again for the same. He says he was confident as he was coming on the back of a reasonable form in spite of returning from injury. States that they had to graft hard with the bat and that's what got them to good totals. Reckons that the opposition bowlers made it tough for them to get quick runs and tall scores.
Time for the presentation. First up is Martin Guptill, who has been adjudged the Man of the Match. He says that the new ball was skidding on and along with Colin Munro, they got off to a flying start. He hopes to continue having good partnerships with the southpaw, who plays an attacking brand of cricket. Adds that once the ball got older, it was tough to stroke it away. Insists his shoulder is alright.
Earlier in the match, Martin Guptill stroked his way to a magnificent hundred. It wasn't one of those innings where he gets after the bowlers and gives them a bashing, although it began with a huge hit from his blade. He stitched together a 112-run stand with Ross Taylor to give a good platform for the rest to capitalize on. But Pakistan's bowlers never let the final flourish come in as they picked up 66/5 in the last 10 overs. Rumman Raees and Faheem Ashraf picked up 5 among them to put brakes on the high-flying Kiwis.
The final outcome wouldn't have been possible if not for Matt Henry's crucial strikes early in the innings. He ended up with four wickets, thereby missing his fifer by not much. He was well supported by Mitchell Santner, who used his flight and guile to fox the batsmen.
However, what was on show from that position was something that is worth learning from for the others. Haris Sohail and Shadab Khan strung together a 105-run stand that came off 122 balls. If anything, this partnership gave the tourists an outside chance at having a shot at the target. Both of them notched up personal milestones by adding a half century each to their credit. Aamer Yamin, Faheem Ashraf and Mohammad Nawaz chipped in with useful contribution towards the end. But lack of wickets at the death stymied their chances of getting a win on the tour. Picture this - the last five wickets added 199 for them and yet they ended 15 runs short of where they should have been at the end of the game.
Pakistan's bowlers restricted the New Zealand which seemed to be a surmountable score. But their batters made a hash of the run chase. As seen throughout the series, the base of chasing any total that is par or above is a good opening stand. The visitors have failed at stringing just that and it shows in the final outcome. None of the top order bats looked to stay out there and that shows in them slipping down to 57/5.
Wow! What a game we have had! It became too close for comfort in the end for New Zealand. Remember, sport is won on the field and not on paper or propositions. If only the top order batsmen had turned up... If only they hadn't been reckless in playing their shots... If only... Ifs and buts count for nothing. The better side won in the end, not before enthralling the fairly-good crowd in Wellington with some exciting brand of cricket.
Matt Henry to
OUT! That's all! Raees gets a short ball in the line of the stumps, he looks to pull it away over deep mid-wicket. Ends up mistiming it and hitting it in the air. Ferguson runs to his right from long on and takes that one with ease. Never took his eyes off that. NEW ZEALAND WIN BY 15 RUNS AND TAKE THE SERIES 5-0!
Back of a length ball on the body, Raees backs away and looks to pull. The ball goes off his shoulder to the keeper. The crowd go up thinking it to be a wicket but it is not.
This one is pulled away through mid-wicket for one. No chance for the batters to take the second here. 16 off 8 away.
Length ball outside off, Aamer guides it through backward point. He hares back for the second run and beats the throw from the deep as he dives in, in desperation. He knows how important it is for him to get on strike.
Short ball, Yamin misses the pull.
FOUR! How many runs towards the end of this innings have come off the inside edge? We'll let you figure that out. Add this one to that list as Yamin squeezes this yorker off the inside edge to the fine leg fence. 19 required of 11.
Matt Henry to bowl out now. 23 required off the last two.
Tim Southee to
Another yorker on the stumps, dug out for nothing.
FOUR! Runs are all that matter for Pakistan and Raees will be happy that he is still unbeaten at the crease. Southee nails a yorker on point, Raees' bat comes down in time. The ball goes off the inner edge past the leg stick, beats Latham on the dive and goes to the fine leg fence. 23 more required for the visitors.
Another yorker, dug out through square leg for one.