Ryder goes from zeroes to hero

New Zealand batsman blazes back from three ducks in Pakistan series to hit 107 and give Kiwis hope before World Cup.

    Ryder's innings was the highlight of a promising set of knocks from the Kiwi batsmen [AFP]

    Jesse Ryder shrugged off a run of ducks to hit a century and end New Zealand's series against Pakistan with a face-saving victory at Eden Park.

    Ryder was out for zero in the Tests in Hamilton and Wellington as well as the previous one-dayer in Hamilton.

    But his second one day international ton helped the hosts to a 57-run victory over Pakistan in the sixth and final ODI match in Auckland, leaving the series at 3-2.

    It came as three Pakistan cricketers accused of spot-fixing were waiting for an International Cricket Council verdict in Doha, Qatar.

    The win was just New Zealand's second in their last 16 completed ODIs and was sorely needed to give them a hint of self belief before they head to the World Cup in India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka this month.

    "It has been a tough six months but to finish it on that note was very satisfying," New Zealand captain Ross Taylor said.

    "Hopefully we can take some momentum into the World Cup and get a couple of wins in the warmup games and take it into the real matches."
     
    Ryder scored 107 and combined in a 123-run partnership with Martin Guptill's 44, while a 120-run partnership between Scott Styris (58 not out) and Nathan McCullum (65) at the end of the innings helped New Zealand to an imposing 311 for seven.

    Unassailable

    Wicketkeeper Kamral Akmal top-scored with 89 for the visitors, who held an unassailable 3-1 lead in the series before the match.
     
    Captain Shahid Afridi (44) also provided some late jitters for the New Zealanders as he combined with Sohail Tanvir (30) before being caught by Nathan McCullum off Hamish Bennett, who finished with for four for 46. Pakistan were dismissed for 254.

    "We gave it a good run but unfortunately we lost momentum," Pakistan coach Waqar Younis said.

    "We lost a wicket at the wrong time. It was a matter of playing overs. But overall ...I think they played better than us, especially when we were bowling, so they deserved it."

    Ryder struggled with a leg injury and needed a runner for the latter part of his innings, but said he felt he would be fine before the team leaves for the World Cup on Tuesday.

    "There's a slight twinge to it but it'll be fine when I get there," Ryder said.

    "It's been a frustrating series for me with all those ducks under my belt.

    "But today batting at three I just wanted to go out and express myself and back my ability. ... so to go out and score 100 today just tops it off before the World Cup."

    SOURCE: Agencies


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