Pakistan hammer NZ to take series lead

Shehzad hits ton, Afridi scores quickfire 55 and takes three wickets as New Zealand are routed by 147 runs in third ODI.

    Afridi (3R) was leading the side in the absence of Misbah [AFP]
    Afridi (3R) was leading the side in the absence of Misbah [AFP]

    Pakistan smashed their third highest ODI total of 364 in a crushing 147-run win over New Zealand to move 2-1 up in the five-match series.

    Ahmed Shehzad notched an intelligent 113 for his sixth ODI ton and stand-in captain Shahid Afridi bludgeoned a trademark 55 off 26 balls to propel Pakistan to the best ODI score seen in Sharjah in 218 matches, and with three wickets to spare.

    Afridi was back in charge with Misbah-ul-Haq out injured and although his innings was full of his usual array of crunching shots, Pakistan also showed a rare ability to nurdle singles at almost every opportunity and cut out the silly strokes.

    Only Nathan McCullum went for less than six an over for New Zealand, although Matt Henry took three wickets, and their reply of 217 all out with the bat was equally ineffective as they lost wickets at regular intervals.

    They were never in the running to match Pakistan's mammoth total although in-form captain Kane Williamson, who starred in the Black Caps' win in Friday's second ODI, again put up a fight with a brisk 46 before being caught and bowled by Haris Sohail.

    The fourth and fifth matches takes place in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday and Friday as the sides continue their build up for February and March's World Cup in Australia.

    SOURCE: AP


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