New Zealand v Pakistan, 1st ODI, Wellington

Vettori savours great start to series

Andrew Fernando at the Westpac Stadium

January 22, 2011

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Hamish Bennett took three wickets on his international return, New Zealand v Pakistan, 1st ODI, Westpac Stadium, Wellington, January 22, 2011
Fast bowler Hamish Bennett impressed on his first international match in New Zealand © Getty Images
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Daniel Vettori credited his bowlers for the crushing nine-wicket victory over Pakistan in the first one-dayer in Wellington. Led by Tim Southee in supreme form, the New Zealand seamers skittled Pakistan for 124 in 37.3 overs, before some ballistics from the New Zealand top-order ensured a fast finish, as they chased the total down in 17.2 overs.

"It was a really good start to the series," Vettori said. "The swing at the start, particularly from Tim, was the real key. We put the Pakistani guys under a lot of pressure and we never really let up, so it was a great start for us."

Southee stunned the Pakistan top-order with a brilliant display of swing bowling, as he beat the bat repeatedly with outswingers before mixing in the one that darts back in towards the stumps. Southee collected career-best figures of 5 for 33, bettering his four-wicket haul against Australia at the same ground in March last year. New Zealand's other bowlers also pitched in, bowling tight lines and keeping Pakistan on the back foot, even if they didn't generate the kind of movement that Southee did.

"We were able to create pressure and hold onto that pressure for a long time," said Vettori. "No bowler who came into the attack ever let it up. Particularly from that top end, I could keep attacking with Tim and Hamish [Bennett] and we just kept getting wickets so it made it easy.

The Westpac Stadium pitch too played a small part, despite appearing a good batting track on first look. Both captains said they would have batted first on the drop-in- surface, but Vettori would have been glad he lost the toss, particularly as the pitch seemed to have flattened out during New Zealand's run chase. "Most of the bowlers enjoyed bowling on this wicket," he said. "To be honest we thought it was going to be a bit flatter than that but it just had enough in it. Sometimes the wickets that just have a little bit in it are the hardest to play on."

Vettori was also impressed with the performance of Hamish Bennett in his third one-dayer. Bennett's hit-the-deck pace and bounce proved a valuable contrast for Southee's big seamers, as Bennett picked up 3 for 26 from eight overs.

"I think [Bennett] was a little bit nervous at the start. I think he only played the two games [in Bangladesh], so he was playing in front of a New Zealand crowd for the first time, and that's why we held him back to bowl first-change. Once he got through that first over I thought he was outstanding. He hit really good areas and bowled at a good pace so he'd be a good foil for the opening bowlers."

Brendon McCullum moved down the order for the first one-dayer, relinquishing his opener's spot to Martin Guptill, who will look to partner Jesse Ryder in the World Cup as McCullum aims to provide impact in the batting Powerplay later on in the innings. Martin and Ryder made 84 for the first wicket in 10 overs, all but sealing the victory for the hosts. "Jesse and Martin are good friends and they like batting together so I think that will help their combination. They enjoyed playing on that sort of wicket. It's a different one because we won't be playing on that sort of wicket in the World Cup, but this series is about getting back that winning feeling and hopefully we started it today."

Waqar Younis claimed New Zealand's bowlers had made it tough for the Pakistan batsman to recover from early losses with a sustained spell of tight bowling. "It was not easy at all, " Waqar said. "The only way you could get out [of a bad situation] is to slowly build a partnership and make sure that the other batsmen come in when the new ball has gone through. Full credit to all their bowlers, they didn't really give us any room to hit or release the pressure."

Waqar also defended his batsmen, who were out playing expansive strokes when the situation called for patience and application. Younis Khan, Shahid Afridi and Umar Akmal were all guilty of getting themselves out while attempting to break the shackles, and the loss of their wickets put pressure on Misbah-ul-Haq who tried to hold down an end, before exploding towards the end, with nine wickets down.

"It happens when you're three down in the first ten overs," Waqar said. "It's never easy and the run-rate dying all the time. The bowlers didn't give us anything and that's where played some false shots and we couldn't really get out of it."

Andrew Fernando writes for The Pigeon and blogs here

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by MarkM33 on (January 23, 2011, 21:42 GMT)

Instead of ranting on about everything, why don't people commenting actually analyse the game??? Try giving credit to NZ for a good effort.

1) Pakistan batsmen seemed to lack confidence. The pitch did a bit but wasn't all that bad. The NZ openers came on after 37(?) overs and didn't seem to have any problems. The Pakistan bowlers just didn't put any pressure on the batsmen. 2) The NZ bowlers were very disciplined in their line and length. James Franklin didn't get the credit he deserved as he tied up one end which helped Southee take a few wickets. 3) B McCullum took 5 catches and a couple of stunning ones at that but also looked a little rusty and needs to tidy up his 'keeping during this series. 4) John Wright has done a good job getting the NZ batting lineup right. It looks much stronger with McCullum back where he belongs. I don't know who else is available for Pakistan but their middle order looks strong. If Pakistan can perform it shoudl be a good series. Go NZ!!!

Posted by manasvi_lingam on (January 23, 2011, 18:17 GMT)

@Sehwagologist: While it's true that NZ aren't playing well they have enough all-rounders to turn their game around. Look at how Raina, Yuvrah, Rohit, MSD, etc have failed miserably in the ODIs. @Michael: The NZ bowling attack barring one great spell from Martin didn't really do so much in India. And let's not refer to future prospects until they prove oneself. Otherwise, everyone will start gushing about their U19 stars, etc. Talent isn't everything.

Posted by Bazooka360 on (January 23, 2011, 3:40 GMT)

Well done New Zealand, also its weird that the Pakistanis have used a different Akmal to keep in each form of the game in this series.

Posted by   on (January 22, 2011, 20:31 GMT)

asad shafiq should not be in the team coz he is a test batsmen..mohammed yousuf would be a better choice..younis kahn asad shafiq n misbah are all similiar players...they v slow to start and fail to roatate the strike regulary..mhd hafeez has been given plenty oppurtunities and only boasts an average of twenty which is pretty poor at this level..shohail tanvir looks completely rusty n lacks pace..i dont see how we can progress in the wc..we needed shazaib or imraan nazir to open to utilize the power plays early on..poor team picked

Posted by thehowlingfantod on (January 22, 2011, 20:16 GMT)

How much could the pitch possibly have had to do with it?. Because Pak was bowled out so quickly NZ came out and started their innings without a break and promptly scored 50 without loss. It was Southee's swing backed up a discipline. I say Allan Donald and John Wright are to be credited. A NEW ERA!

Posted by pipsonian on (January 22, 2011, 19:33 GMT)

Pakistan really needs to get rid of Kamran Akmal and Hafeez and bring in A.Shehzad.

Posted by   on (January 22, 2011, 17:39 GMT)

Sehwagologist, need we remind you of what a NZ bowling attack devoid of Mills was capable of doing to your all star Indian batting line up in the first and second tests in India? Our bowling line up might not have a bowler the calibre of Steyn anymore (although Bond only stopped playing a few months back), but we do have some seamers who would easily usurp many of your Indian international bowlers. Just wait until we have Neil Wagner and Adam Milne bowling regularly in the next 2 years. Both of whom can reach speeds of 150km/h, plus Southee and with Nathan McCullum and Vettori in the side we will put any batting side under pressure. We might be in the doldrums in world cricket right now, but we still manage to somehow produce good cricketers out of our shockingly small talent pool.

Posted by Percy_Fender on (January 22, 2011, 14:08 GMT)

Pakistanis both the team and the ones who write comments to Cricinfo should not be disheartened because of this loss. The drop in pitches are like this and whoever wins the toss will be better off putting the other side to bat. I think any team not used to swing and seam will have shared a similar fate. The thing which should worry them is that Tim Southee is only now realising the potential he was seen with. And this Bennet seems like another Botham.Better luck to Pakistan for the remaining matches.

Posted by khurramsch on (January 22, 2011, 13:56 GMT)

poor performance from pakistan & good bowling from NZ. i stil say series well alive as thse both are know for inconsistancy but pakistan have to do very well to comeback as next match also on bowling friendly pitch. poor judgement from afridi & waqar to bat 1st.and then poor batting performance.

Posted by aztecs on (January 22, 2011, 13:31 GMT)

PS Well done NZ you outplayed pakistan and deserved the win.

Posted by poderdubdubdub on (January 22, 2011, 13:14 GMT)

It really was one of the most pathetic performances by Pakistan, even by their own standard. The only mitigating factor could be the 'drop-in- surface' to which Pakistan batsman were inexperienced. I am getting more and more convinced now that Pakistan really needs a change in their thinking, more maturity and, that has to start from a change in the ODI captaincy if the Pakistanis have to move further than the first round in the forthcoming worldcup.They need a wiser head than an entertaining one, I am afraid.

Posted by peteyzz on (January 22, 2011, 13:13 GMT)

Anyone that's going to blame this Pak loss on the pitch needs to remember Pak chose to bat first, and they got what they deserved.

Posted by CricketChat on (January 22, 2011, 12:46 GMT)

Comprehensive win for NZ. Longtime coming!. That said, can't remember the last time Afridi contributed with the bat. Abdul Razzaq is also very inconsistent with the bat. Pak's lower middle order is very weak to repair any top order collapse. That's a glaring weakness in their campaign for WC.

Posted by Kala.11 on (January 22, 2011, 11:42 GMT)

well all above wasnt a gud team for the first odi hafeez was strugling shezad would have been in and need wahab too as fast balling option with gul and akhtar ma team for 2nd odi 1)k.akmal 2)a.shezad 3)y.khan 4)misbha 5)Asad/u.akmal 6)s.afridi 7)a.razaq 8)a.rehman 9)u.gul 10)w.riaz 11)s.akhtar

Posted by CharlieAlanJakeHarperFamily on (January 22, 2011, 11:36 GMT)

pathetic batting by pak that too against NZ attack that too devoid of mills which is nowhere near sa,aus,eng so what would ahve been scenario if aus or eng,sa would have bowld to pak on that surface not even 50 crossed how can a slogger avging 24 in odis for 15 years be made captain shows the strategy cricketing intelligence of pak and PCB

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