Johannesburg: Pakistan crushed New Zealand in the third ODI in Sharjah to win the match by 147 runs thanks to opener Ahmed Shehzad’s splendid ton and all-rounder Shahid Afridi’s fiery 55 and three-wicket haul.
Shehzad’s 120-ball 113 created the foundation of Pakistan’s biggest-ever total against New Zealand as they amassed 364-7 before they dismissed Kane Williamson’s side for 217 in 38.2 overs to go 2-1 up in the five-match series.
Pakistan won the first game by three wickets in Dubai while New Zealand took the second by four wickets, also played in Sharjah, Sport24 reported.
The win was Pakistan’s second biggest win against New Zealand, just behind their 153-run win at Karachi in 2002.
Skipper Afridi said that it is their strength to play aggressive cricket, adding that they played their type of cricket and took advantage of a good batting wicket. He said that Shehzad, who was the man-of-the-match, played a good knock and gave Pakistan an ideal start.
Shehzad reached his sixth one-day hundred with a dozen boundaries and two sixes while Afridi pulverized the bowlers with three sixes and six boundaries off just 25 balls.
The chase proved too much for New Zealand who were jolted right at the start with paceman Mohammad Irfan, who delivered match figures of 2-26, dismissing Anton Devcich for a duck and Martin Guptill for 12 runs by the sixth over.
Skipper Williamson hit 46 while Ross Taylor made 31 during a stand of 45 for the third wicket but Afridi, who delivered match figures of 3-37, had Taylor bowled while Haris Sohail dismissed the New Zealand skipper to leave them struggling at 115-4.
Sohail also had Jimmy Neesham on two and Nathan McCullum for 15 to finish with 3-45. Luke Ronchi was the last man out, bowled by Afridi for 41.
Williamson said that Pakistan batted outstandingly from start to finish and when his side chased they were not at par.
The fourth and fifth matches would be played in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday and Friday, the report added.