Pakistan’s wait of over seven years has been extended further as rain halted the show at Dubai on November 9. Green shirts have been unable to dismantle New Zealand in a bilateral ODI series since 2011. It was under Shahid Afridi’s captaincy when Pakistan defeated New Zealand in five match ODI series by a margin of 3-2.
Three-game ODI series was evenly poised at 1-1 before the final encounter at Dubai. Men in green were looking forward to break the jinx of losing streak just like they were able to defy the drought of losing 12 one day internationals on a trot in Abu Dhabi. But nature intervenes in an unexpected way as rain forced the officials to drop the curtains and series remained level at one all. Here are some of the major takeaways of the series:
Rock solid Ross Taylor proved himself as sparkling aspect for New Zealand during the ODI series. His ability to put up a solid partnership in crucial middle overs phase was instrumental to keep Kiwis in the hunt to clinch yet another ODI series against Pakistan. Apart from his weird act of showing the gesture of ‘chucking the ball’ off Hafeez, to the umpires; he talked brilliantly with the bat. He was a liaison between top and middle order and played an anchor role which the black caps were expecting from him as a seasoned campaigner.
With his short ball stuff all along the series, Lockie Ferguson was always on the Pakistani batting line up throughout the series. His express pace and astonishing ability to drop the ball on the right areas, made him potent force for New Zealand. Although,Trent Boult was thunderous in the first game but he was nullified by Pakistan batsmen just after his hat trick garnishing spell. What Ferguson did well is that he kept the wicket out of the equation. He bowled his heart out using his extraordinary pace and landed the ball on short length while he never shied to use slower deliveries to bring variation in his bowling. All in all, Ferguson stole the show in bowling department for Kiwis despite the presence of experienced Southee and Boult.
Pakistan never failed to amaze the cricketing world as far as fast bowling talent is concerned. This time, it was young 18 year old Shaheen Shah Afridi. He came he saw and he conquered. He finished the ODI series by taking nine wickets in three games which enabled him to grab the man of the series award. He became only the second player from Pakistan to pick up man of the series award as teen ager. He would definitely be feeling unsatisfied as the last game couldn’t ended as full 100 over match.
Apart from the above described facts, there were some more highlights attached with the series. Pakistan’s tight bowling in the middle overs, New Zealand’s resurgence with the bat after losing early wickets and excellent comeback inning by Haris Sohail are few to name. After the conclusion of T20 and ODI series, it is not difficult to predict that fans would see a nail biting contest and quality cricket in the forthcoming test series starting from November 16.