Martin Guptill powers New Zealand past Pakistan in rain-affected clash


Martin Guptill scored an unbeaten 86 off 71 deliveries as New Zealand chased down the revised target of 151 runs in 23.5 overs with eight wickets in hand in the rain-hit second One-Day International against Pakistan in Nelson to take a 2-0 lead in the series. Pakistan made 246-9 batting first after winning the toss and New Zealand were 64-2 after 14 overs when rain interrupted the match for more than two hours.

The third match is in Dunedin on Saturday. However, Guptill and Ross Taylor (45 n o, 43b, 4×4) ensured victory for the hosts comfortably.

However, Shadab and Hasan Ali then added a 70-run stand to once again steady the innings, taking them closer to the 250-mark, with the latter scoring his maiden half-century in the format.

Having restricted oppositions to manageable scores all through their recent golden run, Pakistan were let down by their bowlers in Wellington. Five balls later, Amir convinced skipper Sarfraz Ahmed to review a lbw call turned down against Kane Williamson when he hadn't even opened his account.

All five regular bowlers chipped in with wickets, and it was left to Pakistan's lower order to respond with a magnificent rearguard action as half-centuries from Hasan and Shadab took Pakistan - once tottering at 141 for 7 - to a more presentable 246.

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Trent Boult (one for 54) and Tim Southee (two for 57) were parsimonious early, restricting Pakistan to 39 for two after nine overs before Mitchell Santner was introduced.

Southee returned in the death-breakthrough with the wicket of Hasan Ali, while Lockie Ferguson had Shadab sent back in the final over to end with figures of 3/39. But just as the momentum was shifting, Malik danced down the wicket and hit one straight to long-on.

Sarfraz was less than impressed with his side's performance, and said: "Very disappointing performance". Tim Southee got the wicket in nearly identical fashion to the first ODI, Azhar falling over to off stump and missing a straight one that thudded into his pads. Astle came in the firing line in the 43rd over that went for 21 runs, as Hasan struck his third six and a couple of fours to bring up the fifty of his partnership with Shadab.

The visitors are now 2-0 down in a five-match series.