ICC Cricket World Cup, 2019
Venue: Edgbaston, Birmingham
Date & Time: 26 June 2019
RR: 4.90 | Pakistan beat New Zealand by 6 wickets
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 face India on Thursday in Match 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 3-4 games the pitch has offered something for the bowlers and credits Pakistan for outplaying them on a tough surface. Praises 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 he 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, that was required on a wicket which was slow and the track was turning a lot. Stresses that it was difficult to bat on it and hence he 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.
Sarfaraz Ahmed comes out for the finishing duties.
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.
Matt Henry to bowl...
Get the chants out again...
The crowd is going nuts. Babar Azam is on 99. 'BABAR! BABAR! BABAR!' is the chant.
Lockie Ferguson is back on.
Mitchell Santner to bowl out...
Powerplay 3 begins. 55 needed off 60 balls now. New Zealand now have the option of having a maximum of 5 fielders outside the ring. Trent Boult is back on as well...
Mitchell Santner is back on. He has been very tidy, has beaten the edge of the bat quite a few times but has nothing to show in the wicket's column.
Trent Boult is back on. Make or break time for New Zealand, this. He was exceptional in his first spell but now needs to pick wickets to bring his team back into the match.
Colin Munro is introduced into the attack in this chase. He bowls dibbly dobblies. Can bowl spin also but it seems he is sticking to what he mostly does. Runs in now...
Drinks break! 99 needed off 102. This match is evenly poised here. Babar Azam is looking good and Haris Sohail has played the spinners well. Pakistan need to accelerate now whereas New Zealand need wickets here.
Lockie Ferguson is back! 4-0-21-1 so far.
A helmet comes in. It is for Martin Guptill, who is standing at gully.
Haris Sohail is the next batsman in.
Surprise, surprise. Skipper, Kane Williamson has brought himself into the attack.
The man with the bat now has the ball in hand. Jimmy Neesham is introduced into the attack.
Spin time. New Zealand's only recognized spinner, Mitchell Santner is into the attack now.
DRINKS! Pakistan have lost two wickets but Hafeez and Babar are looking good out in the middle. Pakistan need another 167 off 34 overs. A solid partnership will take them through. New Zealand need to pick wickets here as that's the only way they can win this game.
The second star with the bat is onto bowl now. Colin de Grandhomme is into the attack.
There is a slight delay here. Seems like there is an issue with the sightscreen. Don't exactly know what's the cause of the problem. The groundsmen are taking off the cover which is kept on the sightscreen. The issue behind the sightscreen is the cloth has not covered the backside, making the stairs behind visible to the batter.
Mohammad Hafeez is the new man in.
Powerplay 2 time! Now 4-fielders can be placed outside the 30-yard circle till the 40th over. Also, Lockie Ferguson is into the attack.
Hmmm... interesting thoughts from Ian Smith on air. He informs that Kane Williamson is already under a suspension cloud after getting a warning for poor over-rate against West Indies. The Kiwis would not want to lose him for any game.
Babar Azam walks out at number 3.
Matt Henry to bowl from the other end with the second new ball.
We are back for the chase. Fakhar Zaman and Imam-ul-Haq walk out to open the innings for Pakistan. Trent Boult to start the proceedings with the first new ball.