Sunday, December 15News That Matters


Edgbaston Cricket Stadium was set to host the all-important clash between the unconquered New Zealand and the unpredictable Pakistan. The match held prime importance because of the fact that if Pakistan managed to beat New Zealand they would brighten up their chances of playing semifinal significantly, while a win for Kiwis will confirm them as the semifinalists of the World Cup 2019 who sit at no. 2 on the points table.  

After a forced delay due to wet outfield New Zealand won the vital toss and decided to bat first. Munro and Guptill came out in the middle and once again Amir bowled Guptill with the first delivery of his spell. Shaheen Shah Afridi then joined him and removed Munro as he got caught in the slip. Soon after that Sarfaraz took a wonderful catch as Shaheen got rid of Ross Taylor quickly. Latham also failed to sustain Shaheen’s brilliance and was caught behind as the Kiwis went 4 down on 46. Kane Williamson chose to tackle this situation with a cool head with Jimmy Neesham as his associate. The pair kept ticking singles without buying any risk but soon Shadab got better of Williamson and he had to depart without scoring big. Colin De Grandhomme was the next man to bat alongside Neesham in a tough situation but the pair carried the New Zealand team well. They took the Kiwis over the 200 line where in the process both completed their half centuries. De Grandhomme was run out for 64 while Neesham remained unbeaten on 97 as he took New Zealand’s total to 237. Shaheen was the bigwig in Pakistan’s attack who got 3 for 28 in his 10 overs. 

Pakistan started their innings with Fakhar and Imam who started aggressively but the leading edge of the Fakhar’s bat guided the ball to point, where Guptil caught him. Babar Azam came to Pakistan’s rescue but his partner Imam fell soon after and Pakistan were 2 down on 44. Veteran Muhammad Hafeez walked in and played wonderfully alongside Babar Azam, who completed his 50. New Zealand introduced spin as the pitch started to turn, and Williamson picked Muhammad Hafeez.  The hero of the last match Haris Sohail was the new man out who took the New Zealand attack by the horns and complemented Babar Azam perfectly. The pair piloted Pakistan’s jet without much of a hassle through to the end as they joined over 100 runs for the 4th wicket. Babar Azam achieved his wonderfyul century while Haris bagged his sensational 2nd consecutive 50. Haris was unlucky to get run out at the very end and Sarfraz ended show hitting the winning runs as Pakistan grabbed a 6 wicket victory.

Babar Azam, for his scintillating century was declared Man of the Match as he kept Pakistan alive in the contention of the World Cup. Pakistan now surged to the 6th position, 1 point short of the elite top 4.

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