Third ODI

Pakistan v New Zealand, 2009-10

At Abu Dhabi, November 9, 2009 (day/night). New Zealand won by seven runs. Toss: New Zealand.

New Zealand stole the series with a narrow victory, increasing the pressure on Younis Khan, who resigned the captaincy two days later. For most of Pakistan's chase of 212, though, it looked like a rout: an inexplicable collapse after a decent start eventually left them reeling at 101 for nine in the 34th over on a placid pitch. Younis, struggling for form, scratched three from 15 balls before perishing the ball after Salman Butt was run out. Shoaib Malik, usually a calming influence, hoicked straight to deep square, then Umar Akmal, rather surprisingly preferred to Mohammad Yousuf, edged a catch behind. Abdul Razzaq was run out after playing out a maiden from Oram, and although Umar Gul hung around for ten overs a disappointed crowd was streaming out before he eventually clipped Oram to deep midwicket. But the unheralded last pair of Mohammad Aamer and Saeed Ajmal batted intelligently, and scared the New Zealanders - and the bookmakers, who were offering 1,000-1 against Pakistan when the ninth wicket fell - by more than doubling the score, only the second such instance in one-day internationals after Namibia managed it during the 2002-03 World Cup. Aamer, whose 73 not out was the highest by a No. 10 in a one-dayer (beating DougieMarillier's 56 not out for Zimbabwe v India at Faridabad in 2001-02), took the lead role, slog-sweeping three sixes in a Vettori over and also hitting seven fours from 81 balls, while Ajmal lasted 44 deliveries before Oram finally ended the fun with the first ball of the final over. It was only the second century partnership for the last wicket in one-day internationals, and the first featuring two genuine tailenders: in 1984 West Indies' last pair put on 106 against England at Old Trafford, but Michael Holding's share was just 12 as Viv Richards marauded to 189. Earlier, Brendon McCullum was again the New Zealand batting star, making 76 from 78 balls before Ajmal - whose career-best bowling preceded his batting best - worked his way through the middle order.

Man of the Match: Mohammad Aamer. Man of the Series: B. B. McCullum.

© John Wisden & Co.