Imam-ul-Haq floored by bouncer, but Pakistan hold off New Zealand
ABU DHABI – Pakistan beat New Zealand by six wickets in the second day-night international in Abu Dhabi on Friday, but the match was overshadowed by a worrying injury to Imam-ul-Haq.
Imam, on 16, was forced to retire after a short delivery from fast bowler Lockie Ferguson hit the grille of his helmet, making him dizzy before he was taken to hospital in an ambulance.
Team management said Imam will undergo CT scans and will be monitored for the next 48 hours.
On the pitch, pace bowler Shaheen Shah Afridi recorded his career-best bowling, while opener Fakhar Zaman hit a half-century to help Pakistan to a series-levelling victory.
Shaheen’s 4/38 kept New Zealand down to 209/9 in their 50 overs, before Zaman returned to form with a run-a-ball 88 for his seventh half-century to guide Pakistan to their target for the loss of four wickets in 40.3 overs.
Veteran batsman Ross Taylor top-scored for New Zealand with a laborious 120-ball 86 not out and added 75 for the fifth wicket with Henry Nicholls, who made a gruelling 33 off 63 balls.
With the win Pakistan broke a four-year losing streak of 12 consecutive one-day internationals against the Black Caps, starting with a 3-2 defeat in the UAE in 2014.
New Zealand had also beaten Pakistan 2-0 (in New Zealand 2015), 2-0 (in New Zealand in 2016), 5-0 (in New Zealand in January this year), and in the first match of the current series by 47 runs in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday.
The win also sets up an intriguing final match in Dubai on Sunday.