Encouraged New Zealand leave Pakistan on a high

May 8 (Reuters) – A whirlwind white ball tour of Pakistan offering little at stake proved an unexpected blessing for a depleted New Zealand squad as fringe players stepped up in the absence of the team’s Indian Premier League A-listers.

The Tom Latham-captained Black Caps captured a 47-run consolation win in the fifth and final One Day International in Karachi on Sunday to avoid a series whitewash and knock Pakistan off their world number one ranking in the format.

The 4-1 result was a fair reflection of the gulf between the full-strength hosts and a New Zealand squad lacking the services of Kane Williamson, Tim Southee and other top players.

Yet Black Caps staff will be encouraged by the resolve of a group which held Babar Azam’s side to a 2-2 draw in the T20 series and landed a few blows in the ODI component ahead of the World Cup in India in October-November.

“It was nice to – probably not put a complete performance together – but to get over the line and leave with a smile on our face,” said rookie paceman Henry Shipley.

“It’s been a pretty tough place to come over here and bowl seam. We learnt a lot in the process.”

Shipley, who made his T20 International debut last month, is among a few Kiwi players to leave Pakistan with an elevated standing after taking a miserly 3-34 in the final ODI to be named Player of the Match.

Mark Chapman did his hopes of breaking into New Zealand’s World Cup squad no harm by smashing 290 runs in a record for a five-match series in the T20 format. read more

Chapman’s fellow all-rounder Cole McConchie shone in a losing cause with an unbeaten half-century on his ODI debut in the third match of the series in Karachi. read more

Opener Will Young also finished on a high, leaving his poor T20 form behind to bookend the ODI series with half-centuries in Rawalpindi and Karachi against a world class attack.

“It’s great to come over here and compete,” said Shipley.

“We come away with a lot of knowledge and skills which will be useful in the future, hopefully.”

Reporting by Ian Ransom in Melbourne; Editing by Peter Rutherford

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source: reuters.com