Colin de Grandhomme has played the innings of his life to help New Zealand secure a fourth straight victory over Pakistan as the home side got home with five wickets to spare.
With New Zealand in trouble, de Grandhomme smashed a half-century off just 25 balls to bat his side into a winning position. Alongside Henry Nicholls; the pair saw New Zealand home, notching up a match-winning partnership.
Nicholls himself also went past fifty in his most important innings yet, staying at the crease under immense pressure following the dismissal of his captain. After the game, Nicholls said his whole mindset was to build partnerships with the batsmen joining him.
“I was just hoping to establish another partnership with Colin, and his batting really took the pressure of me. It is nice being in this role and we can continue to take confidence from this moving forward”.
But really, it was all about de Grandhomme. For no other reason other than the context of his innings. In fact, it could be called a story of pure greatness when you consider what the last month has thrown into the path of de Grandomme.
Just recently, de Grandhomme had to depart the New Zealand side following the sudden and unexpected death of his father. His status of return unknown a fortnight ago; de Grandhomme flew back home and made true on his selection for the fourth ODI.
de Grandhomme, lightly spoken as always, wanted to focus the attention on cricket when speaking to the media.
“I just got told to go out and play my natural game of seeing the ball and hitting the ball. I didn’t think anything about their plan of attack, I just wanted to do my job”.
Blackcaps Batting Order Exposed Chasing 263
Chasing 263 to win; New Zealand had the freedom to be able to bat time and work their way into the innings. But despite Colin Munro blasting his way out of the blocks, scoring a 33-ball fifty to get the RPO firmly under control, wickets started to fall at regular intervals.
Ross Taylor couldn’t muster something special in his 200th ODI appearance, and at 101/4, the New Zealand middle-order found itself with the sternest test of the summer so far.
New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson and Henry Nicholls got New Zealand back on track, forming a partnership of over 50-runs, but a brain explosion from Williamson saw him hold out on the boundary.
Shadab Kahn was the best bowler for Pakistan, takiing full advantage of a wicket clearly favoring the spinners by nabbing three wickets in his first spell.
Pakistan Scratch Themselves To 262 Thanks To Hafeez Aggression
Mohammad Hafeez showed all his experience to smash his way to an unbeaten 81 to push Pakistan past 250 in an innings where few things went their way.
In one of the two rare examples of partnerships of substance for Pakistan, Fakhar Zaman and the returning Haris Sohail batted Pakistan into a good position early. With the platform established to build on, quick wickets to Mitch Santner and Kane Williamson put Pakistan back into a defensive mindset. Not only did the Blackcaps skipper Williamson pick up wickets; he bowled a rare full spell of overs and was tight throughout.
Zaman flirted with his wicket early; playing some outlandish, baseball-style shots, but managed to settle himself and carve one of his better, and most important innings for Pakistan so far. But eventually, that urge to play big shots would come back to cost Zaman when he was bowled attempting to walk down the wicket to Santner.
Sohail kicked into gear after the first drinks break with a massive six downfield, continuing a fine supporting role for Zaman who had moved past fifty prior to losing his wicket. Sohail got himself to a half-century also but perished shortly after, also falling to an ill-advised shot.
Zaman and Sohail had notched 86-runs together.
Mohammad Hafeez picked up the run rate and pushed Pakistan past 200 late in the innings. With his captain at the crease also, Hafeez and Sarfraz Ahmad took on the New Zealand bowlers, finding the boundaries with some brilliantly executed shots. Both men scored half-centuries in a crucial partnership that gave Pakistan a competitive total to bowl at.
Colin de Grandhomme Blasts New Zealand To Victory In Hamilton
New Zealand lead the GJ Gardner Homes series 4-0 heading into the fifth and final ODI in Wellington.
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