In a warm-up match in Hyderabad, Pakistan faced disappointment despite Mohammad Rizwan’s century and noteworthy performances from Babar Azam and Saud Shakeel as they couldn’t defend a total of 345 against New Zealand. Rachin Ravindra played a pivotal role for New Zealand, scoring 97 off 72 balls while opening the innings, guiding his team to a successful chase.
Kane Williamson’s return from a six-month injury layoff showcased promise as he notched up a fifty in 49 balls. Daryl Mitchell and Mark Chapman also contributed half-centuries, providing New Zealand with positive momentum heading into the World Cup.
Opting to bat first, Pakistan encountered early setbacks but managed to stabilize the innings through a partnership between Babar and Rizwan, amassing 114 runs for the third wicket. Babar, scoring 80 off 84 balls, was dismissed by Mitchell Santner, while Rizwan showcased his fluency against spin, retiring out after reaching a century with 103 off 94 balls. Late contributions from Shakeel and Agha Salman brought Pakistan close to the 350-run mark, but it proved insufficient.
Ravindra, known for his top-order batting in domestic cricket, impressed as an opener for the national team, playing a vital role in New Zealand’s powerplay with 32 runs. He combined effectively with Williamson and handled spinners Salman and Usama Mir with ease. Despite Ravindra falling three runs short of a century and Williamson retiring out on 54, Mitchell and Chapman secured victory for New Zealand with over six overs to spare. Unfortunately, except for Mir, every Pakistan bowler conceded runs at a rate exceeding seven per over, contributing to their inability to defend the substantial total.