'Death bowling' concerns for unbeaten New Zealand

New Zealand are already 2-0 in the five-match series but Williamson is not completely happy, especially with the bowling to lower-order batsmen.

Published: 12th January 2018 10:38 AM  |   Last Updated: 12th January 2018 02:23 PM   |  A+A-

New Zealand celebrate Pakistan's Shoaib Malik being caught during the second ODI between New Zealand and Pakistan at Saxton Oval in Nelson on January 9, 2018. | AFP

By AFP

New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson has called on his bowlers to be more accurate in the final overs as they look to take an unbeatable lead over Pakistan in the third one-day international in Dunedin on Saturday.

New Zealand are already 2-0 in the five-match series but Williamson is not completely happy, especially with the bowling to lower-order batsmen.

Pakistan rocketed from 141 for seven in the 37th over to make 246 for nine in game two, repeating a pattern that has been all too common in recent seasons where New Zealand have let the score get away on them after a solid start."We learnt a few lessons from the last game," Williamson said Friday.

"They bat very deep, the Pakistani side, and that is a sign of a good team," he added."

"To see their lower order come out and put together a partnership that gave them a total which could have been a tough chase... it's important that we learn from that."

Despite the big-hitting, particularly by Hasan Ali and Shadab Khan who both made half-centuries, New Zealand won the match in Nelson by eight wickets after the rain swept in. The hosts were set a revised target of 151 in 25 overs. 

The first match in Wellington, which New Zealand won by 61 runs, was also affected by the weather and further rain is forecast for game three in Dunedin on Saturday. 

If a result is achieved, a win would not only give them New Zealand the series but they would also equal their longest streak across all formats of 10 wins. 

New Zealand have Colin de Grandhomme back in their squad after the allrounder returned from bereavement leave, but Williamson said they would wait to view the pitch Saturday morning before settling on their playing XI.

Fakhar Zaman, who scored an unbeaten 82 in the opening game, is expected to return to the Pakistan side after missing game two because of a thigh injury.
 

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