Rachin Ravindra’s 97, followed by half-centuries from returning Kane Williamson, Daryl Mitchell and Mark Chapman steered New Zealand to thrash Pakistan by five wickets in the warm-up fixture of the ICC World Cup 2023.
New Zealand batters put on a scintillating show as they lifted their side to chase down a mammoth 346 against Pakistan for the loss of five wickets and 38 balls to spare.
The Blackcaps had a dismal start to their run chase as Devon Conway succumbed to a golden duck in the second over with just four runs on the board.
Promoted to bat as an opener, Rachin Ravindra, was then joined by returning Kane Williamson and they launched an astounding recovery with both scoring half-centuries.
Williamson, however, opted not to extend his comeback knock and retired out after scoring a well-crafted 54 off 50 balls, laced with eight boundaries when New Zealand were cruising at 141/1 in 18 overs.
Coming out to bat at number four, Daryl Mitchell, kept New Zealand in command as he stitched a vital 42-run partnership with Ravindra, who had a frustrating end to his brilliant knock.
Ravindra fell just three shy of his century, scoring 97 off 72 deliveries, hitting 16 boundaries and a six.
Usama Mir then caused a stir in New Zealand’s run chase as he removed captain Tom Latham (18) and Glenn Phillips (3).
However, Mitchell and Mark Chapman got their side back on track with a sensible partnership, which ended when the former retired out after scoring a half-century.
Mitchell remained a notable run-getter for New Zealand with a 57-ball 59.
Chapman then took the reigns of the pursuit and guided New Zealand to a statement victory in the 44th over, courtesy of a quickfire 65 in 41 balls, which included six boundaries and three sixes.
For Pakistan, Usama Mir bagged two wickets while Hasan Ali, Mohammad Wasim Jr and Salman Ali Agha had a wicket apiece to their names.
Opting to bat first, Pakistan posted a massive total on the board, at the back of a sensational century by Mohammad Rizwan, followed by skipper Babar Azam and Saud Shakeel’s half-centuries.
Pakistan, however, got off to a contrasting start to their innings as they lost both their openers Imam-ul-Haq (1) and Abdullah Shafique (14) inside 12 overs with just 46 runs on the board.
Following the early slump, Pakistan captain Babar Azam and wicketkeeper batter Mohammad Rizwan anchored the innings as the pair notched up a brilliant 114-run stand.
Babar majorly dominated the third-wicket partnership, scoring at a brisk rate before Mitchell Santner finally got rid of the Pakistan captain in the 30th over.
Babar fell 20 short of his century as he fell for an 84-ball 80 which included eight boundaries and two sixes.
Rizwan, however, held his ground firm and soon put together another vital partnership for Pakistan with Saud Shakeel.
The pair added 78 runs to the total before Rizwan finally retired out in the 40th over after amassing his century.
He remained the top-scorer for Pakistan with a magnificent 103-run knock in just 94 deliveries, hitting nine boundaries and two sixes.
Saud Shakeel then stood up for his team after Rizwan’s departure and bolstered Pakistan’s total at the backend with a quickfire knock.
He smashed five boundaries and four sixes on his way to a 53-ball 75.
Besides Saud, Salman Ali Agha (33* off 23) and Shadab Khan (16 off 11) added vital runs for Pakistan, who finished at a mammoth 345/5 in their first ICC World Cup 2023 warm-up match against New Zealand.
Mitchell Santner was the pick amongst the bowlers for New Zealand, taking two wickets, while Lockie Ferguson, Matt Henry and James Neesham made one scalp apiece.