New Zealand beat Pakistan by five wickets in 4th ODI

England’s Alex Hales in action during the third One Day International match between England and Pakistan at Trent Bridge on Aug. 30, 2016. (Action Images via Reuters)
Updated 16 January 2018
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New Zealand beat Pakistan by five wickets in 4th ODI

HAMILTON: Colin de Grandhomme returned from time out following the death of his father to spur New Zealand to a five-wicket win over Pakistan in the fourth one-day cricket international on Tuesday and to a 4-0 lead in the five-match series.
De Grandhomme was playing for New Zealand for the first time since mid-December, when he returned to his native Zimbabwe after the sudden and unexpected death of his father, aged 61.
New Zealand’s unbeaten record at home this season was under threat until De Grandhomme went to the crease at No. 7 and hit 74 not out, including a half century from 25 balls with five sixes, to guide the hosts to their target of 263 with 4.1 overs remaining.
Pakistan produced its best batting performance of the series so far to reach 262-8 batting first, led by Mohammad Hafeez with 81 and half centuries to Haris Sohail and Sarfraz Ahmed.
New Zealand started strongly with an 88-run opening partnership between Colin Munro, who made 56 from 42 balls, and Martin Guptill (31). But teenage leg-spinner Shadab Khan turned the match with three quick wickets as New Zealand slumped from 88-1 to 90-3 in the space of 24 deliveries.
New Zealand crumbled further to 99-4 before captain Kane Williamson steadied the innings in a 55-run fifth-wicket partnership with Henry Nicholls.
Williamson’s innings of 32 from 54 balls contained only one boundary and he scored almost entirely in singles as he attempted to turn around the innings. New Zealand appeared to be regaining the upper hand when Williamson, attempting to step up the run rate, was lured into a loose shot by Haris and was brilliantly caught on the long-on boundary by Rumman Raees.
The match was again in the balance with New Zealand at 154-5 after 35 overs. But de Grandhomme blasted Pakistan out of the match. Shadab saw his figures scrambled: he had 3-8 when he dismissed Guptill, Tom Latham (8) and Ross Taylor, who was out for 1 in his 200th one-day international, and finished with 3-42 from his 10 overs.
De Grandhomme’s half century included 42 runs from boundaries — three fours and five sixes — and his 74 came from only 40 balls and included seven fours and five sixes.
He was well supported by Nicholls who reached his half century from 69 balls and hit the winning run next ball to finish 51 not out.
“I just took what I’d been doing in the nets and brought it out here,” de Grandhomme said.
New Zealand remains unbeaten in 12 matches at home this summer after winning two tests, three ODIs and three T20 internationals against the West Indies and first four one-dayers against Pakistan.
Pakistan was trounced by 183 runs in the third ODI but rebounded with a more spirited performance in game four.
Fakhar made 54 at the top of the order; Haris made 50 in his first one-day international in almost two years; Hafeez produced his 34th half century in ODIs and went on to top score with 81, hitting 22 runs including three sixes in the final over before being run out on the last ball of the innings.
Captain Sarfaz (51) combined with Hafeez in a 98-run partnership for the sixth wicket which substantially boosted Pakistan’s total after a poor start and after it struggled to boost its scoring rate through the middle of the innings.
“It was disappointing but there were some positives,” Sarfraz said. “Fakhar batted well, Hafeez and Haris batted well. But the problem is we’re not finishing well.
“I think when we scored 262 we had lots of confidence but the difference was de Grandhomme who batted really well.”


Saudi Arabia star gets to play against Cristiano Ronaldo as he makes debut against Real Madrid

Updated 1 min 9 sec ago
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Saudi Arabia star gets to play against Cristiano Ronaldo as he makes debut against Real Madrid

Saudi Arabia star Salem Al-Dawsari came off the bench on Saturday night to make his La Liga debut and help turn the game against Real Madrid on its head.
The winger has been waiting patiently for his chance since joining Villarreal on loan from Al-Hilal in September and he must have feared his time in Spain would finish end without a single minute of action, but he was surprisingly thrown on by coach Javier Calleja for the final 33 minutes and he made quite the impact.
Buoyed by scoring for his country against Greece in midweek, Al-Dawsari came on for Javi Fuego after 57 minutes and injected new energy into the Yellow Submarines’ line-up. Pitched out on the left wing, he linked up nicely with his teammates and grew in confidence as the match wore on. On 70 minutes, Al-Dawsari picked up the ball near the center circle, exchanged passes with Rodri then with Pablo Fornals, creating space for the former to set up Roger Martinez for Villarreal’s first goal.
Al-Dawsari then saw fellow substitute Samu Castillejo score an 85-minute equalizer to grab a point that meant they finished fifth. Real Madrid had been two goals up inside 32 minutes thanks to efforts from Gareth Bale and Cristiano Ronaldo.
Fahad Al-Muwallad was the first player from the Kingdom to play in La Liga when he came on as a substitute for Levante against Leganes earlier this month. And the forward, who is nailed on to be in Saudi Arabia’s World Cup squad, got more top-level minutes under his belt on Sunday when he came on as a 75th-minute substitute in Levante’s 4-2 defeat at Celta Vigo.