Left-handed opener Imam-ul-Haq led Pakistan from the front amid controlled bowling by New Zealand — who won the toss — to restrict the home side to 287-6 in the third ODI in Karachi on Wednesday.
Fakhar Zaman, who scored two consecutive centuries in the first two ODIs of this series, departed earlier. The left-handed batter didn’t find rhythm in today’s contest and had to leave after giving away his wicket to Matt Henry.
Imam continued his form from the previous two matches and built momentum alongside skipper Babar Azam. The two batters shared the crease for an eye-catching partnership of 108 runs. Meanwhile, Babar completed his 26th fifty but couldn’t get to his 5,000 ODI runs. He is just 19 runs short of this milestone.
On the other hand, Imam was looking good to finally score a century in this series. But, he once again fell on nervous 90. His innings included seven boundaries and a six.
Mohammad Rizwan and Agha Salman, in the end, tried to score some runs for Pakistan. They both scored 54 runs together.
Shadab Khan (21*) and Mohammad Nawaz (11*) played cameos, in the end, to help Pakistan put up a defendable total.
For New Zealand, Henry picked up three wickets while Adam Milne bagged two scalps. Cole McConchie also managed to take a wicket.
This is a must-win match for the visitors as they are 2-0 down in the series.
Pakistan: Fakhar Zaman, Imam-ul-Haq, Babar Azam (c), Abdullah Shafique, Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Shadab Khan, Agha Salman, Mohammad Nawaz, Shaheen Afridi, Mohammad Wasim, Naseem Shah
New Zealand: Will Young, Tom Blundell (wk), Daryl Mitchell, Tom Latham (c), Mark Chapman, Henry Nicholls, Cole McConchie, Adam Milne, Henry Shipley, Ish Sodhi, Matt Henry
Umpires: Faisal Afridi (PAK) and Langton Rusere (ZIM)
TV umpire: Joel Wilson (WI)
Match referee: Chris Broad (ENG)