Shaheen Afridi shines as Pakistan begin to see light

Birmingham: Pakistan came back into the tournament with a bang after defeating New Zealand by six wickets in their group stage match at Edgbaston ground here on Wednesday.

After restricting their rivals to 237 for 6, Pakistan cantered to victory on the batting brilliance of Babar Azam (101 not out) and Haris Sohail (68) in 49.1 overs.

Earlier, pacer Shaheen Afridi rattled the top and middle order in a fiery spell but combative half centuries from James Neesham and Colin de Grandhomme helped New Zealand to a decent total.

Reduced to 83 for 5 after electing to bat, New Zealand looked up to skipper Kane Williamson for yet another rescue act but it was Neesham (97 not out) and de Grandhomme (64), who revived the Kiwi innings with their 132-run partnership. De Grandhomme’s run out ended the fighting stand but Neeham stayed till the end and finished the innings with a six off Wahab Riaz. He missed out on getting his maiden ODI century but his crucial knock, which came off 112 balls with five fours and three sixes, helped New Zealand stay in the game.

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