DUNEDIN: A visibly disappointed Sarfraz Ahmed slammed his team’s ‘disappointing batting flop’ after New Zealand bowled out Pakistan for 74 to cruise to a 183-run victory in the third ODI in Dunedin on Saturday.
“It was very disappointing, a tough loss,” said the skipper during post-match ceremony, after staying not out at 14 as the rest of the wickets crumbled around him.
Sarfraz was helped along by Mohammad Amir (14) and Rumman Raees (16) as the three added 42 for the last two wickets, but the captain saw serious problems with the top order batting.
“Our bowlers bowled very well but the problems continue with the batting which again flopped. The problem is (facing) the new ball,” he lamented.
New Zealand, batting first, were restricted to 257 by a vigilant bowling attack by Pakistan. However, Trent Boult removed Azhar Ali, Fakhar Zaman and Mohammad Hafeez in the space of five balls to put Pakistan in a hole they were never going to get out of.
After 10 overs, the tourists were three down for just nine runs and while they struggled to stay afloat, Babar Azam was unnecessarily run out.
The Green Shirts had slumped to eight for 32 in the 19th over and threatened two unwanted records — the lowest ODI score of 35, held by Zimbabwe, and Pakistan´s own lowest score of 43.
Pakistan were all out for 74 in the 28th over.
“It was a big game for us. We wanted to get the series done,” said man of the match Boult, who claimed figures of five for 17.
“To score only 250 on the board we knew we had to fight hard and to come out like that was very satisfying.”
New Zealand captain Kane Williamson said the target now was to remain unbeaten.
“That´s the focus. The focus is trying to win each game. The guys were smart today and that´s something we pride ourselves on,” he said.
“It was a fantastic performance all round. Trent was outstanding getting five.”
Pakistan came to New Zealand on a nine-match winning streak and the promise of providing a more formidable opposition for New Zealand, who had just swept a series against the West Indies.
New Zealand have now comfortably wrapped the five-match ODI series 3-0.