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HYDERABAD: Rachin Ravindra and returning Kane Williamson played key knocks as New Zealand chased down 345 to thrash Pakistan by five wickets in a World Cup warm-up match on Friday.

Chasing 346 for victory, New Zealand lost an early wicket before Ravindra (97) and Williamson (54) put on 137 to put their team on course and they achieved the target with 6.2 overs to spare in Hyderabad.

Mohammed Rizwan hit 103 and Babar Azam made 80 in Pakistan’s 345-5 after electing to bat first but the Kiwi batsmen made the total look easy against an attack missing pace spearhead Shaheen Shah Afridi.

Williamson, who returned from a six-month lay-off due to his knee injury and played the match only as a batsman, looked impressive in his 50-ball stay before he retired out.

“It held up pretty good,” Williamson, who will miss the tournament opener against England on October 5, said about his knee after the win.

“Little bit of icing after that (knock). But that’s part of the process. Fortunate with that recovery and being named in the squad was exciting to me.”

Ravindra smashed the opposition bowlers to all parts of the ground as he hit 16 fours and one six but was denied a century by Agha Salman.

Pakistan spinner Usama Mir struck twice in the space of his two overs but Daryl Mitchell made 59 to keep the chase on track.

Left-hand batsmen Mark Chapman, who hit the winning six in his unbeaten 65, and James Neesham, who made 33, put on a partnership of 68 as New Zealand reached the target in 43.4 overs.

Earlier Azam hit eight fours and two sixes before he fell to Mitchell Santner but Rizwan stayed on to complete his century in another key stand with Saud Shakeel, who made 75.

Rizwan struck nine fours and two sixes in his 94-ball innings and said: A “hundred is hundred in any conditions. I feel proud and satisfied.”

The match, which along with other warm-ups was not an official one-day match, was played in an empty stadium due to a Hindu festival and security issues in the southern Indian city.

Comments

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Rebirth Sep 30, 2023 02:39pm
Babar Rizwan have collectively and selfishly scored a million runs but the team keeps losing. That’s been the case for the past 4 years.
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Parvez Sep 30, 2023 02:54pm
The pathetic political, economic, strategic situation that Pakistan has descended to, thanks to a handful of self-serving persons will effect the moral and thus the performance of the team......if they even make the quarter finals it would be a miracle.
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