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Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 15 December 2018

Lockie Ferguson and New Zealand rue rain's intervention in decisive ODI in Dubai

Bowler's five-wicket effort in vain as match abandoned due to wet weather leaving series drawn at 1-1

Lockie Ferguson, third right, and his New Zealand teammates were denied a bid at trying to beat Pakistan in the third ODI by rain in Dubai. Getty
Lockie Ferguson, third right, and his New Zealand teammates were denied a bid at trying to beat Pakistan in the third ODI by rain in Dubai. Getty

Lockie Ferguson picked up his first five-wicket haul in international cricket, against Pakistan at the Dubai International Stadium on Sunday.

But the fast bowler was left frustrated after his efforts to bowl New Zealand into a position to push for a series-clinching win were ultimately thwarted by the weather.

The away side were on 35-1 after 6.5 overs of their pursuit of 280 to win the third one-day international when the electrical storms that hit the country on UAE arrived in Dubai Sports City.

The game was eventually called off at 10pm, after the sides had been off for a little over two hours. It meant Ferguson’s return of 5-45 counted for little, and left the series drawn at 1-1.

It was just the second time in 34 years and 458 international matches in the UAE that a match has been washed out.

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“It was disappointing with the series on the line, and the boys were really excited to get the win, but it wasn’t to be because of the rain – which is quite surprising for here,” Ferguson said. “There is not a huge amount we can do about that.”

Despite usual wisdom suggesting that pitches in this country favour spin, it was the fast bowlers who prospered most in this series.

Shaheen Afridi, the teenaged left-arm fast-bowler, was named player of the series for the nine wickets he took in three games. Ferguson thrived, too, with 11 wickets across the course of the series.

“I changed my gameplan from the first two matches, with the wicket being slightly slower so coming around the wicket probably wouldn’t have worked too well,” Ferguson said after his five in Dubai.

“I tried to hit a hard length, nice and straight, to bring the stumps a little more into play. The first wicket [Mohammed Hafeez] stood on his wicket, which is not much to do with me.

“Then there were a couple of catches and wickets at the death, which always happens. It was pleasing to get some results to go our way.”

Kane Williamson, the New Zealand captain, missed the match. He was rested as a precaution over a groin strain.

His deputy, Tom Latham, was impressed with the way his side pushed their hosts across the series, and hopes they can continue to challenge in the Test matches that follow.

“It was another exciting series like four years ago,” Latham said. “It was challenge coming to the UAE and we adapted.

“It was an outstanding performance from Lockie, and hopefully we can all keep progressing.

“The challenge is adapting to the surfaces and hopefully we can hit the ground running as soon as possible [in the Test series].”