5th ODI New Zealand V Pakistan

Black Caps win again, complete series sweep over Pakistan

New Zealand have completed the second 5-0 one-day international series victory in their history, defeating Pakistan by 15 runs to complete the final match of their series at the Basin Reserve.

Martin Guptill 5th odi

Pakistan excelled through their middle and lower order but could not escape the gravitational pull of the Black Caps’ black hole, gradually slipping to defeat across the afternoon.

The visitors gained traction after slumping to 57 for five in the 17th over, but the hosts’ hands were magnets for catches in the field after setting 271 for seven.

The highest total chased in a Basin Reserve ODI is 254, by New Zealand against Pakistan in 1989, so it was a tall order.

Dismissals were hard to come by with the ball, too, particularly with the pivotal 112-run third-wicket stand between Martin Guptill and Ross Taylor.

New Zealand’s other clean sweep of the same magnitude came 18 years ago against the West Indies.

The result extends the current side’s record unbeaten streak to 12 completed matches across all formats, with three Twenty20s to come against Pakistan before the arrival of Australia and England.

The demise of the West Indies could be put down to a chasm in quality, but the dispatch of the Champions Trophy winners suggests the New Zealand side would be a force for anyone.

Today’s win was another example of strategy, roles and depth combining to produce a blueprint for victory.

Matt Henry had not played since Boxing Day against the West Indies. In Trent Boult’s absence he steamed in looking hungry and angry, generally adjectives which get pace bowlers into a rhythm. Pakistan were 31 for three inside eight overs. He finished with figures of four for 53, including the last wicket of Rumman Raees.

Mitchell Santner delivered quality spells of left-arm orthodox spin, particular in the 38th and 40th overs which conceded three runs and earned the key Pakistan wickets of Haris Sohail for 63 off 87 balls, and Shadab Khan for 54 off 77 balls. Henry was on hand at long-on to take the catch which broke the 105-run sixth-wicket stand when Haris was tempted into a lofted drive. Next over Santner pushed a ball up outside off to lure Shadab into a miscued drive over cover. The ball ballooned to Henry Nicholls at backward point.

The spinner also picked up Faheem Ashraf in the 44th when danger loomed. He finished with figures of three for 40, a triptych of wickets which left you as breathless as the reporting of any line-up change at TVNZ.

The hosts were aided by an aggressive start as Colin Munro muscled 34 from 24 balls that placed them at 52 for one in the sixth over. Kane Williamson struggled to find rhythm in his 22 from 36 balls, but still bequeathed Taylor a healthy position at 101 for two in the 18th over from which to harvest a total.

Guptill made his 13th ODI century, holing out to long-on off Rumman for 100 in the 42nd over.

He and Taylor built a formidable platform. Taylor made 59 off 73 balls, easing the ball about and using the square cut as his staple. The innings was the 58th time he had passed 50 (41 half-centuries, 17 centuries) in 201 ODIs, surpassing the record he jointly held with Nathan Astle and Stephen Fleming.

A flurry of four wickets in 15 balls stymied New Zealand’s progress between the 45th and 47th overs but Colin de Grandhomme (29 not out from 21) and Tim Southee (14 off 11) provided a fillip of late-hitting.

The resting of Mohammad Amir and Hasan Ali with minor injury niggles meant the Pakistani attack was under pressure.

Rumman took three for 67 in a bustling display, while Shadab’s 10 overs of leg spin were unlucky not to return better figures than none for 35.