Pakistan faced a five-wicket defeat against New Zealand in their ODI World Cup warm-up match in Hyderabad on Friday. Opting to bat first, Pakistan posted 345/5 in 50 overs with Mohammad Rizwan smashing 103 while skipper Babar Azam scoring 80 runs. Later, New Zealand chased down the target in just 43.4 overs as Rachin Ravindra playing a terrific knock of 97 runs. Apart from him, skipper Babar Azam also scored a half-century, who was playing his first match, since March.
Despite being on the losing side, the match turned out to be memorable one for Pakistan wicketkeeper-batter Mohammad Rizwan, who scored a century in 93 balls. After the first innings of the match, Rizwan expressed gratitude towards the people of Hyderabad for giving a warm welcome to the team on their arrival.
“A hundred is a hundred, proud and happy of it. Scoring a century for Pakistan is always special. The Indian crowd gave us a lot of love at the airport itself, just like how our fans love us back in Pakistan. We were welcomed in India in a great way,” Rizwan said during the mid-innings.
Rizwan further spoke about his batting position in the team and stated that he can bat wherever the team needs him.
“In T20Is I open for Pakistan, in Tests I bat at 6-7 and in ODIs I bat at number 4, I play according to the team requirements. Saud Shakeel is in great form and he played a classy knock today. Hopefully he turns out to be a great player in the ODI format as well. I and Babar try to rotate the strike, we bat similarly, our communication is good and that helps us,” he added.
Talking about the match, Kane Williamson showed his class in his first competitive outing in six months while Rachin Ravindra sizzled at the top of the order as New Zealand gunned down a 346-run target.
Barring the openers, Pakistan batters including Mohammad Rizwan (103 retired hurt off 91), Babar Azam (80 off 84) and Saud Shaukeel (75 off 53) had a good hit in the middle, helping their team post a daunting 345 for five in 50 overs.
(With PTI Inputs)
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