In the first ODI match of the five-match series, Pakistan defeated New Zealand by five wickets at the Pindi Cricket Ground in Rawalpindi. The left-handed opener, Fakhar Zaman, was the star of the match as he scored his ninth ODI hundred and helped Pakistan chase down 289 runs with ease. Fakhar scored 117 runs and remained unbeaten till the end.
Pakistan’s opening partnership of 124 runs between Fakhar and Imam-ul-Haq gave them a perfect start, and despite losing a few wickets in the middle, Mohammad Rizwan’s unbeaten 42 helped Pakistan win the match. For New Zealand, Daryl Mitchell’s brilliant knock of 113 runs went in vain. Pakistan’s Shaheen Shah Afridi, Haris Rauf, and Shadab Khan bowled decently and restricted New Zealand to 288-7 in their 50 overs.
New Zealand had started well after winning the toss and electing to bat first, with opener Chad Bowes making 18 runs before falling in the 10th over. However, Daryl Mitchell and Will Young put on a solid partnership of 102 runs off 101 balls to rescue their team from the early setback. Mitchell continued his form and scored 113 runs off 116 balls, including 11 boundaries and a maximum, before getting out in the last part of the innings.
In response, Pakistan’s openers Fakhar Zaman and Imam-ul-Haq provided a strong foundation with their partnership of 124 runs. Fakhar’s brilliant knock of 117 runs off 139 balls, including 9 boundaries and 3 sixes, helped Pakistan chase down the target in 48.3 overs. Although New Zealand managed to pick up a few wickets in the middle overs, Mohammad Rizwan’s unbeaten 42 runs guided Pakistan to a comfortable victory.
This win is a significant boost for Pakistan, who lost the preceding T20I series against New Zealand 2-2, and they will look to carry this momentum into the next ODI match on Saturday.