Fast bowler Naseem Shah took five wickets as Pakistan cruised to a six-wicket win over New Zealand in the first ODI on Monday.
Naseem, aged 19, snapped up 5-57 as New Zealand was made to bat first and was restricted to 255-9.
Mohammad Rizwan, who was rested for the preceding drawn two-test series, top scored with an unbeaten 77 off 86 balls and eased Pakistan to 258-4 in 48.1 overs.
Pakistan skipper Babar Azam made 66 off 82 balls and continued his red-hot form in white-ball cricket with his 19th ODI fifty. Opener Fakhar Zaman also made a fine 56 in his comeback match from a knee injury.
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New Zealand batters couldn’t convert good starts on a slow pitch against disciplined bowling by debutant legspinner Usama Mir (2-42) and Mohammad Nawaz (1-38) in the middle overs.
Naseem dismissed opener Devon Conway for a first-over duck off a full-pitched delivery as the left-hander tried to flick the fast bowler but the ball ricocheted off his back leg onto his stumps.
Hard-hitting Finn Allen (29) successfully overturned a lbw decision against him in Haris Rauf’s first over. Allen hit Naseem for two boundaries in an over and smashed Rauf for three boundaries in a row before falling to a spectacular Agha Salman diving catch at short extra cover.
Mir tied down New Zealand through his googlies and sharp legspin, and stunned Kane Williamson on 26 off a turning delivery which knocked back the off stump.
Tom Latham (42) and Daryl Mitchell (36) rebuilt the innings with a half-century stand before falling to Mir and Nawaz respectively. New Zealand slipped to 147-5 in the 32nd over.
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Michael Bracewell, who top-scored with 43 off 42 balls, and Glenn Phillips (37) also had good starts before Naseem returned and picked up four wickets in his return spell.
Naseem was on a hat trick after he clean bowled Bracewell and debutant Henry Shipley, but Tim Southee denied the pacer.
Mitchell Santner made a brisk 21 and Southee contributed 15 to get New Zealand past 250 runs.
Babar featured in two half-century stands with Zaman and Rizwan after offspinner Bracewell (2-44) dismissed Imam-ul-Haq (11) early in Pakistan’s chase.
Latham dropped a tough edge by Zaman before the left-hander’s 15th half-century. Zaman was clean bowled soon after while going for a slog sweep against Bracewell.
Babar also survived two close lbws against the spinners. Latham stumped him off part-time spinner Phillips.
Rizwan kept his cool and batted with cramps in the latter half of the run chase. Salman, 13 not out, hit the winning runs with a straight six against Southee.
The second ODI is on Wednesday followed by the last match on Friday.
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