Right then! Pakistan continue to be alive and kicking. Another team which will be aiming to take inspiration from Pakistan is West Indies, as they take on India in Match number 34 at Old Trafford, Manchester at 10.30 am local (0930 GMT). ADIOS! TAKE CARE!
Pakistan skipper, Sarfaraz Ahmed says that the crowd always support them and thanks them. Adds that fielding is a very important part and they have worked hard on it. Adds that whenever they are pushed in a corner, they perform the best. States that it's a complete team effort and praises his bowlers and then the partnership between Haris Sohail and Babar Azam. Terms the batting of Babar Azam as the best he has ever seen and lauds him for the way he handled the pressure. Mentions that it was a tricky target but he was confident of chasing it if they bat out the 50 overs. On comparison with the 1992 WC, Sarfaraz replies that they are not thinking much about it and taking one game at a time. Hopes to keep doing best.
New Zealand skipper, Kane Williamson, says that in the last 34 games the pitch has offered something for the bowlers and credits Pakistan for outplaying them on a tough surface. Praise the opposition for bowling in the right areas and nipping a number of guys off but also credits Neesham and de Grandhomme to bring the Kiwis back into the game. Admits that his own team had a chance with two early wickets but then Pakistan's middle order fought hard. Agrees that 250 might have been a difficult score on this track. On taking Santner off when Sohail came on to bat, Williamson says that was trying to save him for the end. Agrees that this loss is a blip and wants to forget this quickly and move on to the next match against a different opposition on a different pitch and hopes to perform better than today.
BABAR AZAM IS THE MAN OF THE MATCH. Says that this is indeed his best inning, which was required on a wicket which was slow and the track was turning a lot. Stresses that it was difficult to bat on and hence wanted to bat 50 overs. On being asked who was more of a threat - spinner (Santner) or seamer, Babar says that the initial plan was to see off the fast bowlers but on seeing the ball turn, Azam says that he and Hafeez thought of playing Santner out, trying to get 3-4 runs an over. Thanks the fans for turning out in numbers, even in Birmingham and adds that they always support Pakistan in England.
New Zealand would like to believe that this loss is just an aberration. They will be pleased with the way their batsmen fought after a poor beginning and will take the batting form of Jimmy Neesham and Colin de Grandhomme as positives. On the bowling front, they weren't necessarily poor but didn't get much off the surface to trouble the Pakistani batsmen. Mitchell Santner was the best bowler for them but he was unlucky not to get any wicket to his name. Had he got a few, this match could have seen a close finish. Please stay tuned for the presentation.
It was a chase well planned by Pakistan. They lost their in-form openers cheaply but that didn't affect them much. Babar Azam took it on himself to play the anchor role and first with Mohammad Hafeez and then with Haris Sohail, threaded match-winning partnerships. He went on to notch up his maiden World Cup century and stayed unbeaten to see his side over the line.
A thumping win for Pakistan and they have stopped New Zealand's winning juggernaut. Also, they have kept their campaign alive and their eye-catching resemblance to the 1992 World Cup edition is getting more and more interesting.
49.1 overs (4 Runs) FOUR! PAKISTAN WIN BY 6 WICKETS! Full toss outside off, Sarfaraz gets bat on ball and puts it away through the gap between cover-point and point for the winning runs.
48.6 overs (0 Run) Angles in a length ball on off, Babar flicks but finds the mid-wicket. So we have the last over, folks. Just 1 more needed.
48.5 overs (1 Run) Scores are levelled! Shortish and on middle, Sarfaraz stands back and helps it in front of square leg for a run.
48.4 overs (0 Run) Played to the point region by the batsman. No run.
Sarfaraz Ahmed comes out for the finishing duties.
48.3 overs (0 Run) OUT! What an anti-climax! Haris Sohail is run out. A yorker on off, Babar digs it out near the stumps and looks at his partner who shows interest in a run. Azam stutters a bit but Sohail puts his head down and runs. Guptill, in the meantime, also charges to the ball, dives forward to pick it up and then disturbs the stumps. All in one motion. It's referred upstairs and Haris is found short. End of a fine knock nonetheless and his century stand with Babar completely spoiled New Zealand's chances of any comeback.
Is that a run out? Martin Guptill has literally flown in from point to hit the stumps! Has Sohail made it in time? Replays seem to indicate that Haris is short. Yes, he has to go.
48.2 overs (1 Run) Fractionally short and on middle, Sohail turns it through backward square leg and crosses.
48.1 overs (1 Run) Short in length on off, Babar gets on top of the bounce and pulls it in front of square leg for a run.
Matt Henry to bowl...
47.6 overs (0 Run) Swing and a miss! Shortish ball around leg, Sohail hops back and tries to pull but misses. Pakistan one hit away!
47.5 overs (2 Runs) A low full toss outside off, Sohail pumps it over the infield and gets a couple as the sweeper cover fielder cuts it off near the fence.
47.5 overs (1 Run) Wide called for height! Lockie follows the batsman down towards leg with a short ball but it goes well over Haris. He tries his best to hook but misses.
47.4 overs (0 Run) Shortish and on off, Haris tries working across the line but misses.
47.3 overs (1 Run) Hundred for Babar Azam, his 10th in ODIs, first in an ODI World Cup! What a batsman, what a terrific batsman! A real find for Pakistan. Becomes the first Pakistan batsman since 1987 to score a century without opening the innings. He reaches this milestone by slapping a short delivery to deep cover. Completes his single and then takes his helmet out. Raises his bat and acknowledges the crowd. Follows it up with a Sajda.
Get the chants out again...
47.2 overs (1 Run) Fuller and on middle, Sohail goes deep inside the crease and drills it to mid off for a run. Babar on strike...
47.1 overs (4 Runs) FOUR! Beautiful timing and placement! Back of a length delivery outside off, Haris crunches it off his back foot and places it through backward point. The third man fielder tries to run across to make the stop but he slipped.
46.6 overs (0 Run) Fuller in length and outside off, Azam connects with his cover drive but finds the fielder. Stays on 99. Babar is feeling the heat here.
46.5 overs (0 Run) Beaten again. On a length around middle, Babar gets across to work it on the leg side but fails to middle. It hits him on the pads and rolls back.
46.4 overs (0 Run) Nerves! Azam is beaten on the drive. Fuller in length and outside off, Babar tries to stroke through the line but gets beaten.
46.3 overs (0 Run) A touch short in length and outside off, Babar mistimes his punch to point.
The crowd is going nuts. Babar Azam is on 99. 'BABAR! BABAR! BABAR!' is the chant.
46.2 overs (1 Run) Short of a length delivery on middle and leg, Haris goes on his toes and glances it down to long leg for a run.
46.1 overs (0 Run) Angles in a length ball on off, Sohail covers the line and defends it back.
45.6 overs (4 Runs) FOUR! Moves to 99 with this boundary! Ferguson tries to test the right-hander with a short ball, Babar rides the bounce and plays a hammer-pull to deep mid-wicket. 9 from the over, Pakistan 14 away!
45.5 overs (1 Run) The look away pull shot by Sohail. He receives the short ball targeted at him with closed eyes and still pulls it through square leg for one.
45.5 overs (1 Run) Wide called for height! Ferguson bends his back to go short but it goes way over the batsman.
45.4 overs (1 Run) Digs in a short delivery outside off, Babar leans back and dabs it down to third man for one.
45.3 overs (1 Run) Excellent yorker around leg, Sohail moves back to dig it out on the off side and calls his partner through for a run.
45.2 overs (1 Run) Very full in length outside off, Azam reaches out for it and squeezes it behind backward point for a run.
45.1 overs (0 Run) Slower delivery, on a length outside off, Babar tries to guide it late down to third man but he is too late and hence misses.