The two-match Test series between Pakistan and New Zealand ended in a 0-0 draw, after the bad light abruptly ended the game on Day 5. In the chase of 319, the hosts had a forgettable start as they lost five wickets with only 80 runs on the board. It was then Sarfaraz Ahmed, who rose to the occasion and smashed 118 runs off 135 balls, bringing Pakistan back into the game. Later, the visitors got their grip back and removed four more wickets but Naseem Shah and Abrar Ahmed remained unbeaten at the crease and denied a victory to New Zealand. Both the teams are now gearing up for the three-match ODI series, which will kick-start from Monday in Karachi.
On the eve of the first ODI, the Babar Azam-led side was hosted by Pakistan’s interim chief selector Shahid Afridi for a dinner at his residence. In a video posted on Pakistan Cricket Board’s Twitter, the cricketers were seen having a good time at Afridi’s place along with legendary squash player Jahangir Khan, who was invited as the special guest.
— Pakistan Cricket (@TheRealPCB) January 7, 2023
“An evening spent at Shahid Afridi’s house with the team getting a chance to meet legendary squash player Jahangir Khan,” wrote PCB.
Pakistan and New Zealand will face off in the first of three one-day internationals in Karachi Monday, with an eye on this year’s World Cup in India.
Azam’s team won eight of the nine one-day internationals last year, including a 2-1 series win over a formidable Australia at home.
On the other hand, New Zealand, runners-up in the last World Cup in 2019, won ten of their 16 ODIs last year and have a strong unit led by Kane Williamson. They have been dominant against Pakistan, having won 12 of the last 15 ODIs between the two teams.
Pakistan will miss pace spearhead Shaheen Shah Afridi who is recovering from a knee injury sustained in November last year, while spinning allrounder Shadab Khan is also out with a recent finger fracture.
New Zealand pacer Matt Henry is also out of ODIs with an abdominal strain sustained on the final day of the drawn second Test. They are already missing pace trio Trent Boult, Kyle Jamieson and Adam Milne — for varied reasons.
(With AFP Inputs)
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