CWC 2019- NZ vs PAK Review: Pakistan instill life in their campaign after dismantling the Kiwis

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Pakistan managed to hand New Zealand their first defeat of the campaign to keep their hopes for a semi-final spot alive. A fiery spell by Shaheen Afridi coupled with a classy hundred from Babar Azam were the main ingredients for the Pakistani victory.

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Opting to bat first on a used pitch at Birmingham, the top order stuttered yet again. The middle order too failed to get going and the Kiwis were soon reduced to 46-4.

Jimmy Neesham and Colin de Grandhomme, however, joined forces to string a crucial 132 run stand after the captain’s dismissal by Shadab Khan. The all-rounders brought up their fifties and helped the Blackcaps post a respectable total of 237-6 on board with Neesham stranded at 97.

Pakistan approached the chase in a cautious manner, despite losing Fakhar Zaman early, Babar Azam and Imam-ul-Haq saw out the threat posed by the new ball. Despite losing a couple of wickets in the middle, the in-form Haris Sohail complemented Azam to steer Pakistan to the total in the final over.

The No.3 batsman brought up his ton to become the second youngest Pakistani to do so in a World Cup. This victory for Pakistan spices up the contention for the semi-final spot.

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