Misbah Guides Pakistan To A Close Victory




Misbah-ul- Haq

Misbah-ul- Haq

The Pakistani side remained true to its tag of the ‘unpredictables’ as they clinched a narrow 2-wicket win over New Zealand in the fourth one- day international on Tuesday. The crowd in Naiper witnessed a closely contested match as Misbah- ul- Haq guided his team to victory by staying till the end and putting 93 runs on the board.

The match was full of twists and turns as the Black Caps, who decided to bat first after winning the toss, failed to take advantage of a flat batsmen-friendly wicket. Their upper order failed them yet again and the all rounders came to their rescue by putting up a decent total of 262 for the loss of 7 wickets. It was Nathan McCullum, who remained unbeaten, and James Franklin who provided some stability to their innings in the end moments.

It all seemed quite under control for Pakistan as they began their innings quite steadily as the openers Ahmed Shehzad (42) and Mohammad Hafeez (12) looked to take control of the match in the first powerplay. The dismissal of Shehzad slowed the pace of their innings but nonetheless they looked in a great position as Misbah and Younus Khan took their side to 173-3 in 37 overs. It was when Younus Khan (42) got himself run out that the Pakistani side suddenly seemed out of sorts.

Both sides tried their best to claw their way back in the match as Pakistan kept losing wickets in an attempt to maintain its run rate.

Abdul Razzaq and Misbah-ul- Haq decided to take things in their own hands by hitting Tim Southee for 17 runs before Razzaq got out. Wahab Riaz came next on the crease and instead of handing over the strike to the established batsman he took a swipe at the ball which landed directly in the hands of the NZ wicket-keeper.

Everything now depended on Misbah and the next tail-ender Sohail Tanvir. New Zealand now had an excellent chance of grabbing the match but that was not meant to happen. Tanvir looked totally calm and composed despite of coming in at such a pressure situation. He hit Southee for three fours in the penultimate over, thus, ceasing the match.

Though Misbah-ul-Haq was denied a century, his crafty batting skills were on full display throughout the innings and he was rightfully awarded the Man of the Match.

The next match will be a crucial one especially from New Zealand’s point of view. It’s going to be a make or break match for them in Hamilton on Thursday.

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Nupoor Bansal

Author:

Hey, I’m Nupoor Bansal, 20, currently pursuing Journalism from DU. I have always been immensely interested in both playing and watching sports. Like most other cricket fanatics Sachin Tendulkar is THE God for me. Badminton, Tennis and Football are the other sports that interest me.

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