Saturday, 15 December, 2018

Imam head injury overshadows Pakistan triumph

Legspinner Todd Astle is on his way home ruled out of the Pakistan series with a knee injury GETTY IMAGESLegspinner Todd Astle is on his way home ruled out of the Pakistan series with a knee injury
Cary Erickson | 10 November, 2018, 09:11

The play had to stop five balls later as an ambulance waited near a sidescreen for Imam, who had to be stretchered in it, to take him to the hospital.

Pakistan thrashed New Zealand in the second day-night global in Abu Dhabi on Friday but the team's six-wicket victory over the Black Caps muted by the fact that Imam-ul-Haq left the ground with a head injury when he was on 16.

Earlier, New Zealand was restricted to 209-9 with Ross Taylor scoring a fighting unbeaten 86 off 120 balls for his second half century in a row in the series.

The New Zealand middle order had no answers to Shadab Khan (1-25 from 10 overs) and the under-fire Mohammad Hafeez (1-31 from 10), with a remarkable 21-over drought between boundaries putting Pakistan firmly on the front foot.

With the win Pakistan broke a four-year losing streak of 12 consecutive one-day internationals against the Black Caps, starting with a 3-2 defeat in the UAE in 2014. The final will be held on Sunday at Dubai.

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"We kept them to a low total courtesy of Shaheen and then Fakhar and Babar batted so well".

Shaheen Shah Afridi took four wickets and showed quick thinking to run out Kane Williamson for only one when the New Zealand captain failed to recover his ground at the non-striker's end.

Neither George Worker (28 off 50 balls) nor Henry Nicholls (33 off 63) looked particularly at ease in their time at the crease, but both batsmen were also put in hard situations as failures from Colin Munro (13) and the duo of Kane Williamson and Tom Latham (one run apiece) put the Black Caps in early strife. Taylor hit three boundaries and a six for his 43rd half century in one-day internationals.

Pakistan's most expensive fast bowler, Hasan Ali (2-59), returned and had Nicholls bowled in the 38th over before Afridi snapped two more wickets to restrict New Zealand.

Allrounder Faheem Ashraf replaced Junaid Khan in the only change made by Pakistan.