Pakistan vs New Zealand ODI Series 2023 saw the visitors take the trophy home. It was their first series victory in Pakistan since 1969 and the first ever in white-ball cricket.
After a competitively drawn test series, the Green Caps and the Kiwis faced off in the ODIs. Likewise the test series, this one was also played in Karachi, and in contrast to the red ball matches, there were more spectators. Besides, both teams had their “A” squad playing.
Pakistan fought valiantly in each game but were defeated in the second and third. The fans were extremely disappointed because they had long been hoping to see their nation win a series at home. I guess they’ll have to wait longer.
Pakistan Missed the Services of Shaheen Shah Afridi
Shaheen doesn’t need an introduction. He is the spearhead of Pakistan’s bowling attack. So, not having him bowl upfront was definitely a big loss for Pakistan. Shaheen got injured in the test series against Sri Lanka last year while fielding. He returned once more for the WT20, but he regrettably had to leave the game after suffering another injury while taking a catch in the final.
However, even without Afridi, Pakistan’s bowling was still fairly strong. In both of the first one-dayers, they held New Zealand to less than 265. In the third game, the fast bowling had some trouble, which ultimately led to Pakistan’s defeat.
The Struggles of Pakistan's Batting Line-up and a Glenn Phillips' Special
The Pakistan team has a reputation for being unpredictable. They can chase 350 one day and get bowled out for less than 100 the next.
The series started with the hosts comfortably winning the first ODI by 6 wickets. Pakistan won in the 49th over, chasing 256, thanks to half-centuries from Fakhar, Babar, and Rizwan. Moreover, Haris Sohail, returning to the team after more than two years, played an important cameo of 32(23).
But things didn’t go as expected in the second game. Once more, the bowling only allowed the Kiwis to reach a low total of 261. However, Pakistan’s batting struggled for the entirety of the second innings on a difficult and turning wicket. They kept losing wickets without forming any meaningful partnerships.
The skipper was the lone warrior, making 79(114). Unfortunately, it wasn’t enough, as the Black Caps won by 79 runs.
The series came down to the third and final ODI. Pakistan batted well on a helpful pitch to score 280 runs. They were also poised to win the game until Glenn Phillips came out of the syllabus.
He would hit the bowlers all around the park in pursuit of making 63 off 42. Phillips fittingly hit the winning run and was adjudged Man of the Match for his blistering knock. He hit four sixes and as many fours.
Also, Naseem Shah was on the bench, and Hasnain was playing for Pakistan instead of him. It could’ve been a different result if Shah was in the XI. But again, it’s another story of IFs and BUTs.
Outcomes from Pakistan vs New Zealand ODI series 2023
Here are a few focus points from the recently concluded One Day series.
- Pakistan’s batting heavily relies on the runs by the top 3 batsmen. The rest of the batsmen need to be more consistent.
- Pakistan’s ODI bowling lineup is still inexperienced.
- Pakistan needs a genuine hitter down the order.
- New Zealand collapsed two times in the 2nd and 3rd ODI. They need to not panic after a wicket or two falls.
- Spinners bowled the majority of the overs from both teams. It’s a good preparation for the upcoming ODI World Cup as there will be similar pitches.
- Babar Azam still has a lot to learn as captain.
- Pakistan missed Shaheen Shah Afridi upfront and the form of Haris Rauf.
- The lower order of Pakistan needs to have more game awareness.
Kane Williamson believed the series was “hard-fought.” He also stated that he had a good time in Pakistan. Meanwhile, Babar Azam thought they would have won the last match if they had 300 or more on the board.
And this concludes Pakistan vs New Zealand ODI series 2023.
It’s a break for the Pakistan cricket team for now. They have time to sort out their issues and come back strong when New Zealand visits again in April for five ODIs and five T20 Internationals.
We hope to see another high-octane series between two very good teams.