Naseem takes five as Pakistan thump New Zealand in first ODI

Naseem Shah, a fast bowler, took five wickets as Pakistan beat New Zealand by six wickets in the first one-day international on Monday.

Mohammed Rizwan, who was rested for the previous drawn two-test series, top scored with an unbeaten 77 off 86 balls and eased Pakistan to 258-4 in 48.1 overs. Naseem, who is 19 years old, took 5-57 as New Zealand was made to bat first and was limited to 255-9.

Babar Azam, the Pakistan captain, scored 66 runs in 82 balls, his 19th fifty in an ODI, continuing his hot streak in white-ball cricket. In his comeback match from a knee injury, opener Fakhar Zaman also put up a strong 56. On a slow surface, the disciplined bowling of debutants Usama Mir (2-42) and Mohammad Nawaz (1-38) prevented the New Zealand batsmen from making good starts in the middle overs.

With a full-pitched delivery, Naseem bowled opener Devon Conway out for a duck in the first over. The left-hander tried to flick the fast bowler, but the ball bounced off his back leg and onto his stumps. In Haris Rauf’s first over, the hard-hitting Finn Allen (29) overturned a lbw decision against him.

Before falling to a stunning diving catch by Agha Salman at short extra cover, Allen struck Naseem twice for boundaries and Rauf three times in an over.

Mir stunned Kane Williamson on 26 with a turning delivery that hit the off stump and tied down New Zealand with his googlies and sharp legspin. Tom Latham (42) and Daryl Mitchell (36) made half-centuries to reestablish the innings before being bowled out by Mir and Nawaz, respectively.

In the 32nd over, New Zealand fell to 147-5. Glenn Phillips (37) and Michael Bracewell, who scored the most runs with 43 from 42 deliveries, both got good starts before Naseem came back and took four wickets in his return spell. After bowling Bracewell and Henry Shipley, Naseem was on a hat trick, but Tim Southee stopped the pacer.

New Zealand crossed the 250-run mark thanks to Mitchell Santner’s blistering 21 and Southee’s 15 runs. After offspinner Bracewell (2-44) dismissed Imam-ul-Haq (11) early in Pakistan’s chase, Babar played in two half-century stands with Zaman and Rizwan.

Before Zaman’s 15th half-century, Latham dropped a tough edge. Soon after, while attempting a slog sweep against Bracewell, Zaman received a clean bowling. Additionally, Babar escaped two close lbws with the spinners. Phillips, a part-time spinner, was stumped by Latham.

In the second half of the run chase, Rizwan batted with cramps while maintaining his cool. Against Southee, Salman, who was 13 not out, hit a straight six for the winning runs. The final match is on Friday, and the second ODI is on Wednesday.

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