A six-wicket win against New Zealand means it's winner takes all in Dubai on Sunday
Fakhar Zaman: Pakistan have the 'momentum' ahead of ODI decider in Dubai
Fakhar Zaman believes Pakistan have the “momentum” heading into the deciding one-day international against New Zealand after the batsman led his side to a series-levelling victory in Abu Dhabi on Friday.
After losing a 12th successive ODI to New Zealand in the series opener, also in Abu Dhabi, Pakistan responded with an emphatic six-wicket win as the teams head to Dubai on Sunday for the decider.
After being set 210 to win, after man-of-the-match Shaheen Afridi took four wickets, Pakistan chased down the total with 57 balls remaining, with Fakhar scoring a run-a-ball 88.
“What was important in this game was that we ended a long losing run to New Zealand and also level the series,” Fakhar said.
“With the hoodoo broken, I believe we now have the momentum on our side going in to the deciding game.”
Pakistan captain Sarfraz Ahmed hailed their “complete team performance” and has urged his side to maintain their form in Dubai.
“We hoped to comeback strongly and we did,” he said. “We wanted to use the new ball effectively. We batted very well today. Fakhar played all around the surface.
“Our bowlers contained it really well after being wayward with the new ball earlier in the inning. Our spinners controlled it nicely and the wickets from the pacers in the middle helped. No we look forward to the decider in Dubai.”
Ross Taylor’s unbeaten 86 was the only significant score for New Zealand, while pace bowler Lockie Ferguson stood out in attack, claiming three wickets from his 10 overs.
Ferguson said New Zealand will look at what went wrong in Abu Dhabi and will regroup for Dubai.
“Pakistan played very well on their own conditions. They bowled exceptionally well and made it tough for us to score runs,” Ferguson said at the post-match conference.
“It was perhaps an under-par score for us to defend but I think the boys came out and bowled pretty well with aggression. But it wasn’t our day. We’ll get back to the drawing board and see how to play the next game.
“We played a T20 game in Dubai but I don’t know how it looks like now. We can’t make early assessments but a different ground and it’s smaller. So the plans might have to change a bit.
“I think we have been playing really good cricket on the tour. We played some exceptional cricket for nearly 100 overs in the first game. We are going to look to play similarly in the decider on Sunday.”
New Zealand captain Kane Williamson conceded his side were completely outplayed.
“In hindsight we will look back some parts of the inning which we need to improve on,” he said.
“In Dubai, we'll look to build on the lessons. They are not big margins that we have shown in the first game and there was some really good work down and a very competitive total but it’s important we do just that. With the ball, the guys did try hard.”