New Zealand was able to post a fighting score of 237 runs after suffering an early stutter. The Kiwis all-rounder James Neesham played a gutsy knock of 97 runs to give his team’s bowlers something to bowl at. New Zealand skipper won the toss and decided to bat first at Edgbaston, Birmingham. There were overcast conditions and Williamson was happy to put his batting line-up through the acid test.
Pakistan bowling openers – Mohammad Amir and Shaheen Afridi were on fire as they breathed down the neck of the New Zealand’s batters. Amir was able to strike on his first ball of the match when Martin Guptill when for the expensive drive but dragged the ball back on to the stumps.
Afridi was on fire.
Subsequently, Shaheen Afridi bowled a spell to remember. The lanky fast bowler was able to hit the right areas and the Kiwis batters had no answers. Colin Munro didn’t bother to move his feet and played a loose shot away from the body to edge the ball to first slip, Harris Sohail. Afridi was able to set up Ross Taylor with beauty and Sarfaraz Ahmed took a one-handed blinder to put paid to his fitness criticism.
Furthermore, Tom Latham nicked off to Sarfaraz Ahmed to leave New Zealand tottering at 46-4. Kane Williamson provided some resistance as the New Zealand skipper scored 41 runs.
New Zealand was able to rebuild.
However, New Zealand suffered a huge blow when Shadab Khan was able to produce the outside edge of the right-hander with Sarfaraz Ahmed taking another good catch.
Subsequently, the onus was on James Neesham and Colin de Grandhomme to take New Zealand to a fighting score. Both the all-rounders didn’t disappoint as they added more than 100 runs to help their team go past the 200-run mark. Both the batters also brought up their respective fifties.
Here is how Twitter reacted to New Zealand innings:
— Raunak Kapoor (@RaunakRK) June 26, 2019
Pendulum’s swung the other way. Brilliant partnership between Neesham and Grandhomme has taken NZ past 200 (could finish with 230+) but more importantly taken away the psychological advantage from Pak
— Cricketwallah (@cricketwallah) June 26, 2019
— Dean Jones AM (@ProfDeano) June 26, 2019
Every time NZ are in trouble vs Pakistan.
Colin De Grandhomme:
— Nikhil 🏏 (@CricCrazyNIKS) June 26, 2019
Shaheen Shah’s lengths have been spot on today.. #PakvNZ
— zainab abbas (@ZAbbasOfficial) June 26, 2019
What a start from Pakistan 🇵🇰 New Zealand 🇳🇿 under the pump here . Everyone is chipping in body language is looking brilliant by the boys in green.
— Wasim Akram (@wasimakramlive) June 26, 2019
Come on the kiwis .. 225 looks good score to me .. #CWC19
— Michael Vaughan (@MichaelVaughan) June 26, 2019
— Russel Arnold (@RusselArnold69) June 26, 2019
Looks like just the surface for Pakistan. Interesting that New Zealand won the toss chose to bat and played just one spinner. But remember, Pakistan don't chase well and that is what NZ will bank on
— Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) June 26, 2019
— Aakash Chopra (@cricketaakash) June 26, 2019
Most Indians are supporting Pakistan today so that England goes out of the WorldCup.
— Sagar (@sagarcasm) June 26, 2019
— M Naveed Masood Awan (@i_am_MNMA) June 26, 2019
At the Edgbaston, the Kiwis had shown some resistance. The credit goes to Jimmy Neesham, Colin de Grandhomme for very sensible, gritty and courageous show. Now, they could make match out of it. You never know which Pakistan will turn up on its day. The game is on! #PAKvNZ #CWC19
— Tahir Ibn Manzoor (@TahirIbnManzoor) June 26, 2019
— Aaqib Aman 🇵🇰 (@a_aaqib) June 26, 2019