Pakistan’s Naseem Shah, centre, celebrates with teammates after taking the wicket of New Zealand’s Henry Shipley during the first one-day international cricket match between Pakistan and New Zealand, in Karachi. | Photo Credit: AP
Fast bowler Naseem Shah took five wickets as Pakistan cruised to a six-wicket win over New Zealand in the first one-day international on Monday.
Naseem, aged 19, took 5-57 as New Zealand were made to bat first and were restricted to 255-9.
Mohammad Rizwan, who was rested for the earlier drawn two-test series, led the way with an unbeaten 77 off 86 balls and eased Pakistan to 258-4 in 48.1 overs.
“You enjoy your performance more when you win the match,” Naseem said. “The pitch was good for batting and initially there wasn’t much help for the bowlers but the (old) ball started to reverse.”
Pakistan skipper Babar Azam made 66 off 82 balls and continued his hot form in white-ball cricket with his 19th ODI fifty. Opener Fakhar Zaman also made a fine 56 in his comeback match from a knee injury.
The New Zealand batters could not convert a good start on a slow pitch against the disciplined bowling of debutant legspinner Usama Mir (2-42) and Mohammad Nawaz (1-38) in the middle overs.
Naseem dismissed opener Devon Conway for a first-over duck from a full-pitched delivery as the left-hander tried to flick the fast bowler but the ball bounced off his back leg into the his stumps.
Hard-hitting Finn Allen (29) successfully overturned an lbw decision against him in the first over by Haris Rauf. Allen hit Naseem for two boundaries in one over and smashed Rauf for three consecutive boundaries before falling to a stunning Agha Salman diving catch at short extra cover.
Mir tied New Zealand up with his googlies and sharp legspin, and stumped Kane Williamson for 26 from a return delivery that knocked the off stump.
Tom Latham (42) and Daryl Mitchell (36) rebuilt the innings with half-century stands before falling to Mir and Nawaz respectively. New Zealand slump to 147-5 in the 32nd over.
“We just weren’t doing a lot of things long enough with the bat,” Latham said. “Every time we threatened for a big total, we lost a wicket. . . if we can get close to that 300 mark, maybe things will be different.”
Michael Bracewell, who top-scored with 43 off 42 balls, and Glenn Phillips (37) also got off to a good start before Naseem returned and took four wickets in his return spell.
Naseem was on a hat trick after he clean bowled Bracewell and debutant Henry Shipley, but Tim Southee denied the pacer.
Mitchell Santner made a quick 21 and Southee contributed 15 to take New Zealand past 250 runs.
Babar featured in two half-century stands with Zaman and Rizwan after offspinner Bracewell (2-44) dismissed Imam-ul-Haq (11) early in Pakistan’s chase.
Latham dropped a hard edge by Zaman before the left-hander’s 15th half-century. Zaman was clean bowled soon while going for a slog sweep against Bracewell.
Babar also saved two close lbws against the spinners. Latham stumped him off part-time spinner Phillips.
Rizwan kept cool and battled through cramps in the last half of the run chase. Salman, 13 not out, hit the winning runs with straight sixes against Southee.
The second ODI is on Wednesday followed by the final match on Friday.