Daryl Mitchell celebrates after scoring century during the first ODI at the Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium on Thursday. AP
All-rounder Daryl Mitchell scored a brilliant century to give New Zealand a good total of 288-7 against Pakistan in the first one-day international in Rawalpindi on Thursday.
The 31-year-old smashed 115-ball 113 for his highest One-Day International (ODI) score to anchor New Zealand’s innings after they were sent in to bat at Pindi Stadium.
Mitchell, who hit 11 fours and a six, added 102 for the second wicket with opener Will Young who scored an attractive 78-ball 86. Mitchell finally holed out at deep mid-wicket off fast bowler Shaheen Shah Afridi in the 47th over, improving on his previous best of 100 not out against Bangladesh in 2021.
Young hit eight boundaries and two sixes before being caught off spinner Shadab Khan at long-off.
Shaheen Shah Afridi bowls during the first ODI match. AFP
Mitchell, dropped on 23 by Agha Salman off his own bowling, then furthered New Zealand’s innings with a solid stand of 72 with skipper Tom Latham (20). But against some tight bowling the visitors could manage just 66 in the last ten overs.
Mark Chapman, star for New Zealand in the preceding five-match Twenty20 series which ended in 2-2, was bowled by pacer Haris Rauf after scoring 15.
For Pakistan pace trio of Naseem Shah took 2-29, Shaheen 2-63 and Rauf 2-65.
Earlier, Pakistan captain Babar Azam won the toss against New Zealand and elected to field first in the first ODI.
An inexperienced New Zealand made a stunning comeback to draw the Twenty20 series 2-2 after Mark Chapman smacked a scintillating century in the fifth and final game on Monday.
Chapman was included in the five-match ODI series after he smashed 290 runs in the T20 series and was dismissed just once.
New Zealand, touring Pakistan without eight frontline white-ball players busy playing in the Indian Premier League, included Henry Nicholls, who was flown in for the ODIs.
Daryl Mitchell (C) and Will Young (R) run between the wickets during the first ODI match in Rawalpindi. AFP
The Black Caps went in with three fast bowlers – Adam Milne, Matt Henry, Blair Tickner – and Rachin Ravindra and Ish Sodhi as their spin options.
Pakistan included three frontline fast bowlers — Shaheen Shah Afridi, Naseem Shah and Haris Rauf — and Shadab Khan and Mohammad Nawaz as the spinners.
Pakistan had a setback when batter Haris Sohail was ruled out of the series opener after injuring his left shoulder during practice on Wednesday. The team said Sohail felt discomfort on Thursday and will continue his rehabilitation.
Rawalpindi will also host the second ODI on Saturday. Karachi hosts the remaining three games next week.
Pakistan: Fakhar Zaman, Imam-ul-Haq, Babar Azam (captain), Shan Masood, Mohammad Rizwan, Salman Ali Agha, Shadab Khan, Mohammad Nawaz, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Naseem Shah, Haris Rauf.
New Zealand: Chad Bowes, Will Young, Daryl Mitchell, Tom Latham (captain), Mark Chapman, Henry Nicholls, Rachin Ravindra, Adam Milne, Ish Sodhi, Matt Henry, Blair Tickner.
Associated Press / AFP