Fakhar Zaman celebrates after scoring 100 runs during the 3rd ODI match in Karachi on Friday. AP / AFP
Opener Fakhar Zaman cracked a brilliant hundred to lift Pakistan to 280-9 in the third and series-deciding day-night international against New Zealand in Karachi on Friday.
The left-hander scored a 122-ball 101 with 10 boundaries and a six after Pakistan won the toss and opted to bat at the National Stadium.
Zaman lifted Pakistan from 21-2 during a third-wicket stand of 154 off 161 balls with Mohammad Rizwan, who made a polished 74-ball 77 with six boundaries.
Pakistan, seeking a series win after the teams shared the first two matches, were badly hit at the start when they lost Shan Masood without scoring and skipper Babar Azam for a rare failure on four.
Azam, who had two half-centuries in the first two matches, was stumped by Tom Latham off spinner Michael Bracewell in the seventh over.
It was left to Zaman to build the innings and he took a sharp single to reach his eighth hundred, his first three-figure ODI score in Pakistan.
Leg-spinner Ish Sodhi broke the stand by bowling Rizwan, while Zaman was run out as he tried to steal a sharp single.
Agha Salman hit out in the final overs, scoring a 43-ball 45 with a six and four boundaries. Haris Sohail made 22 as Pakistan scored 49 in the last five overs, losing four wickets. New Zealand pacer Tim Southee finished with 3-56.
Earlier, Pakistan captain Babar Azam won the toss and chose to bat first in the final ODI against New Zealand with the series level at 1-1.
Babar Azam and his New Zealand's counterpart Kane Williamson look coin during toss for 3rd ODI match in Karachi. AP
Shan Masood, who was appointed Pakistan's vice-captain ahead of the limited-overs series, is playing his first game of the series. He replaced injured opening batter Imam-ul-Haq. It is Masood’s first ODI since his last limited-overs game against Australia in 2019.
Pakistan also had to leave out fast bowler Naseem Shah because of sickness and brought in pacer Mohammad Hasnain for his first game of the series. Naseem grabbed eight wickets in the first two games, including a five-wicket haul in the opener.
Spin-heavy New Zealand bounced back to beat Pakistan by 79 runs in the second match after losing the first game by six wickets.
Pakistan captain Babar Azam hopes the wicket will suit his spinners Mohammad Nawaz and Usama Mir, like it favoured New Zealand in Wednesday's game.
New Zealand retained the same team from that match, including specialist spinners Michael Bracewell, Ish Sodhi and Mitchell Santner.
Fast bowler Lockie Ferguson is playing his 50th ODI.
Pakistan: Fakhar Zaman, Shan Masood, Babar Azam (captain), Mohammad Rizwan, Haris Sohail, Agha Salman, Mohammad Nawaz, Usama Mir, Mohammad Wasim, Mohammad Hasnain, Haris Rauf.
New Zealand: Finn Allen, Devon Conway, Kane Williamson (captain), Daryl Mitchell, Tom Latham, Glenn Phillips, Michael Bracewell, Mitchell Santner, Ish Sodhi, Tim Southee, Lockie Ferguson.
Agence France-Presse / Associated Press
New Zealand's spinners strangled Pakistan on a turning wicket to win the second ODI by 79 runs Wednesday and level the three-match series 1-1.
New Zealand will be playing three ODIs and five Twenty20 internationals, on their first tour of Pakistan in 18 years. New Zealand players will arrive in Pakistan on Sept.11 and will play the ODI series at the Pindi Cricket Stadium on Sept.17, 19 and 21.
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