New Zealand beat Pakistan by 47 runs, in the first of their best of three ODI series.
Going into the match, Pakistan largely stuck to the squad that proved so successful for them in the T20 series, whilst New Zealand drafted in George Worker, Henry Nichols, Tom Latham and Trent Boult.
It was the visitors who won the toss and decided to bat in Abu Dhabi, but they did not get off to the best of starts, losing Worker for just a single to Shaheen Afridi in the 4th over. Colin Munro played with his usual aggression, hitting 5 fours before he was lbw to Afridi or 29. Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor then added 42 for the third wicket but, just as they looked to flourish, Mohammad Hafreez caught Williamson off the bowling of Shadab Khan for 27.
Taylor and Latham then put their side in a strong position with a fifth wicket stand of 130 with Latham, in particular, looking to take the initiative. Both men passed their fifties and looked to press on when Pakistan came right back into the contest in the 42nd over, with Shadab taking 3 wickets in the space of 4 balls.
First to fall was Latham, lbw for 68, having hit 5 fours, followed by Henry Nicholls out for a duck. Colin de Grandhomme survived the hat-trick ball but then gave a catch to Babar Azam off the next delivery to depart without scoring. When Taylor was out of the third ball of the next over for 80, having also hit 5 fours, the New Zealand innings was in danger of subsiding meekly.
However, Tim Southee and Ish Sodhi contributed a late partnership of 42, and, although both were out to Afridi towards the end, they helped their side to a final total of 266 – 9. Shadab and Afridi both ended with 4 wickets apiece for the Pakistan bowlers.
Pakistan got off to a terrible start of their own losing as Boult claimed a hat-trick in his first over, the third Kiwi to achieve the feat in ODIs. Fist to fall was Fakhar Zaman bowled for one, followed by Babar Zaman caught by Taylor first ball. Mohammad Hafeez then was lbw as Pakistan slumped to 8/3.
After such a poor start, it was left to Imam ul-Haque and Shoaib Malik to patiently rebuild the innings, as they looked to repair the early damage done. However, both fell in quick succession, ul-Haq guiding Ferguson to mid-wicket for 34, followed by Malik who gave a simple catch to Williamson at mid-off from the bowling of de Grandhomme, having scored 30.
Next to fall was Shadab given out of the first ball from Sodhi, although replays suggested that he was given out for a catch without hitting the ball. However, there then followed an excellent seventh wicket stand of 103 between captain Sarfraz Ahmed and Imad Wasim that restored hope for the home side until Sarfraz was bowled by de Grandhomme for 64, having hit 7 fours.
Wasim and Hasan Ali continued the rear-guard action, even though the run rate was against them, until, after a stand of 31, the innings came to a dramatic innings as the last three wickets fell in the space of4 balls. Wasim, who had made exactly 50, including 2 sixes, was the first to go, caught by de Grandhomme at backward point off the bowling of Tim Southee.
Then, at the start of the next over, Hasan hit Lockie Ferguson to Boult fielding at long-on, and was caught for 16. The same bowler then yorked Afridi first ball, as Pakistan were bowled out for 219 in the 48th over.
Boult’s hat trick earned him the man of the match award.