At Auckland, February 18. Pakistan won by six wickets. Toss: Pakistan. International debut: Imran Farhat.
Originally scheduled as a day/night match on Saturday, the game was delayed by rain until Sunday, when local bye-laws prevented the use of floodlights. Shoaib Akhtar was a magnificent and threatening sight as he carved through the later batting, bagging five for 19 (four bowled), his best return at this level. Because of injury, it was his first international since the previous April. Put in, New Zealand had made a rocky start: Parore was bowled by the first ball. They fought back twice, reaching 142 by the 32nd over before Shoaib demolished them with five for two in 11 balls. Pakistan's own batsmen made slow progress, especially against Vettori, and were only 85 for three in the 30th over. But once Inzamam-ul-Haq and Yousuf Youhana raised the pace, a target of 150 was never enough. Waqar Younis became the seventh Pakistani to play in 200 one-day internationals.
Man of the Match: Shoaib Akhtar.
© John Wisden & Co