Kiwis hammer Pak

WELLINGTON: A solid 82 by Henry Nicholls followed by a ninth-wicket batting blitz carried New Zealand to a convincing 70-run victory in the opening one-day international against Pakistan in Wellington on Monday.

In reply to New Zealand’s 280-8, Pakistan were skittled out for 210 with four overs remaining.

The hosts were in a perilous position at 99-6 before Mitchell Santner (48) joined Nicholls in a 79-run stand for the seventh wicket.

Matt Henry (48) and Mitchell McClenaghan (31) then added 73 off 33 balls in a closing onslaught. After Azhar Ali (19) and Ahmed Shehzad (13) fell early in Pakistan’s innings, Mohammad Hafeez (42) and Babar Azam (62) lifted Pakistan’s confidence.

Sarfraz Ahmed (30) and Anwar Ali (16) put on 35 for the seventh wicket but their partnership ended when they tried to lift the scoring.

Where the New Zealand tail had exploded, Pakistan’s fizzled out  with the last four wickets falling for five runs.

Trent Boult claimed 4-40, while Grant Elliott took 3-43.