Birmingham: James Neesham and Colin de Grandhomme’s 132-run stand for the sixth wicket helped New Zealand post 237/6 in their World Cup group match against Pakistan in Birmingham on Wednesday.
Pakistan had reduced the high-flying Kiwis to 83/5 in the 27th over with their influential captain Kane Williamson back in the hut before de Grandhomme and Neesham resurrected the New Zealand innings.
Neesham ended the innings with a six and was unbeaten on 97 off 112 balls (4×5, 6×3) while de Grandhomme was run out in the 48th over for 64 off 71 deliveries (4×6, 6×1).
Pakistan’s initial dominance was powered by Shaheen Afridi’s spell. The 19-year-old took three wickets which included those of opener Colin Munro, Ross Taylor and wicketkeeper Tom Latham. While he is known for his tendency to be expensive, Shaheen went for just 28 runs in his 10 overs and was the most economical among the Pakistani bowlers.
Williamson was dismissed by Shadab Khan in the 27th over but that turned out to be the last wicket that Pakistan’s bowlers would take in the day. Neesham and de Grandhomme played themselves in for the rest of the middle overs and then started dominating post the 40th over. New Zealand amassed 85 runs in the last 10 overs, thus ending up posting a competitive total.
Brief scores: New Zealand: 237/6 in 50 overs (James Neesham 97 not out, Colin de Grandhomme 64; Shaheen Afridi 3/28) against Pakistan