The deciding ODI between Pakistan and New Zealand at the Dubai International stadium ended in a damp squib as a rare instance of rain resulted in the game to be declared a no result and forced both teams to share the trophy on Sunday. This was the first-time ever that rain had washed out an ODI match in the UAE.
The rain also meant that Pakistan’s search for a series win against New Zealand continued, having last won against them in 2011. Opting to bat, the hosts started aggressively thanks to Fakhar Zaman. The 64-run opening stand with Mohammad Hafeez, who was promoted to open after Imam-ul-Haq suffered an injury and was ruled out for this match, gave Pakistan a solid platform and the team did not lose momentum despite Zaman falling for 65.
Babar Azam, who has been in fine form in the Twenty20 Internationals, continued his great run and was assisted well by Haris Sohail. The duo shared a 108-run partnership, with Sohail being the main aggressor. The left-hander brought up his fifty by pulling Ish Sodhi to the deep midwicket fence for a six while Azam reached his landmark with a single off Trent Boult.
The partnership was broken when Sohail (60) pulled Lockie Ferguson to deep backward square leg where Goerge Worker tumbled forward to take the catch. The wicket of Sohail boosted New Zealand, in particular Ferguson and he proceeded to slice through the middle order to finish with 5/45. Azam was unlucky to miss out on a century as Pakistan lost wickets at regular intervals to finish on 279/8.
In response, Colin Munro’s poor form continued when he was cleaned up by Shaheen Afridi for 0. George Worker and Henry Nicholls steadied the ship before the rain came in the seventh over of the chase, with New Zealand on 35/1. It rained for close to two and a half hours, forcing match officials to call the game off.
Lockie Ferguson was named the Man of the Match while Shaheen Afridi was the Man of the series for his nine wickets in the three ODIs. The action now shifts to the Test matches with the first game to be played in Abu Dhabi on November 16.