New Zealand 261 (Conway 101, Williamson 85, Nawaz 4-38, Naseem 3-58) beat Pakistan 182 (Babar 79, Sodhi 2-38, Southee 2-33) by 79 runs
It was Southee and Ferguson who set the tone for New Zealand’s successful defence. After testing Fakhar Zaman with six inswingers, Southee ran one away from the left-hander on a Test-match length and kissed his outside edge. Gone for a seven-ball duck. With a number of New Zealand fast bowlers absent through injury, Ferguson took the new ball along with Southee and blasted out Imam-ul-Haq with a 153kph bouncer.
Babar repaired the innings with Mohammad Rizwan, adding 55 together for the third wicket, but they needed 99 balls to get there. The New Zealand spinners kept hiking the asking rate and drawing errors from Pakistan’s batters. Babar tried to take the chase as deep as possible, but his men were bowled out in 43 overs.
During those early exchanges, Conway struggled for timing and often lost his shape when he tried to over-hit the ball. Williamson, meanwhile, was in control from the get-to.
The New Zealand captain started his innings with a trademark dab to deep third and then displayed greater intent in the powerplay. He scythed Naseem over backward point and shovelled Mohammad Wasim in the air over midwicket for fours. Williamson was the first to notch up his half-century off 52 balls, with Conway joining him in the same over.
Williamson was then reprieved twice in a space of four balls in the 22nd over. When Wasim first dug one into the pitch, he spliced a pull to midwicket, where Haris dropped an overhead coach. Three balls later, Rizwan, the wicketkeeper, spurned a chance after Wasim brushed Williamson’s glove.
Conway then showed signs of his fluent best, countering Pakistan’s spinners with his variety of hard sweeps, including the reverse. After reaching his first fifty off 57 balls, he needed just 32 more for triple-figures. When Babar tried to coax a few quiet overs from part-time spinner Agha Salman, Conway took him for 12 off eight balls and helped put him out of the attack. Conway even charged at Wasim, audaciously pumping him over point for six. Just when he looked good for more, Naseem conjured up a wicket before Nawaz took over and wrecked New Zealand’s middle order.
Santner fought gamely at the death, scoring 37 off 40 balls, before he was run out off the penultimate ball of the innings. He also stepped up with the ball and ensured there would be no way back for Pakistan, despite Babar’s resistance.