WATCH: Funny Babar Azam teases wicket during PAK v NZ warm-up match
Pakistan and New Zealand clashed in a warm-up match for the 2023 ODI World Cup at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium in Hyderabad today (Septeber 29). Pakistan's captain Babar Azam won the toss and chose to bat first. However, this decision was not justified by the openers as Abdullah Shafique (scoring 14 off 25) and Imam-ul-Haq (scoring 1 off 10) both returned to the pavilion with only 46 runs on the board after 11.2 overs.
Babar took to the crease in the third over and alongside Mohammad Rizwan, stabilized the innings with an impressive partnership. In the midst of his innings, a comical incident occurred that had everyone in stitches. Babar gently played a delivery from one of the spinners but the ball started rolling back towards the stumps. The 28-year-old attempted to halt its progress with his shoe, but it continued its trajectory.
With unwavering focus, the Pakistan star tracked the ball until it reached the wicketkeeper, Tom Latham. This moment elicited laughter from everyone present, including both players at the crease.
Pakistan batters dominate the Kiwis
The Pakistan batsmen, particularly Babar Azam, Mohammad Rizwan, and Saud Shakeel, showcased an impressive performance. Although Shafique and Imam fell early, Babar and Rizwan forged a formidable partnership for the third wicket. Henry, who dismissed Imam, refrained from returning to bowl after his initial spell with the new ball. This allowed Babar and Rizwan to assert control over the proceedings.
Santner managed to dismiss Babar for 80, while Rizwan retired after reaching his century. Saud Shakeel and Agha Salman made substantial contributions in the latter part of the innings, propelling Pakistan to a commanding total of 345/5 in 50 overs.
New Zealand heavily relied on their spinners for the majority of the overs, with James Neesham and Daryl Mitchell providing medium-pace support. Both, however, proved to be rather expensive, as the Pakistani batsmen handled their deliveries with relative ease. Ferguson secured a wicket towards the end, but even he was relatively costly.