Babar's 92 lifts Pakistan to 279-8 in third ODI

Fakhar Zaman and Babar Azam run between the wickets. — AFP

Pakistan and New Zealand shared their one-day worldwide cricket series 1-1 after the third and final game was washed out with the touring side 35-1 chasing their hosts' 279-8 in the decider on Sunday.

With the series on the line with each side having won a game, Pakistan's batting clicked from the outset after Sarfraz Ahmed won the toss and chose to bat.

New Zealand were 35 for 1 in 7 overs in reply when rains intervened, and they needed 245 more runs to win the match and the series.

It all happened on the fifth delivery of the 49th over when New Zealand fast bowler Trent Boult bowled to all-rounder Faheem Ashraf. Ross Taylor has been the standout batsman for the Black Caps so far as he scored a match-winning century in the first game.

When rain stopped play, George Worker was unbeaten on 18 and Henry Nicholls was 15 not out.

Pakistan put up a strong total on the board even though New Zealand's Lockie Ferguson (5/45) registered his first five-wicket haul in limited overs cricket.

Ferguson was the pick of the New Zealand attack, the paceman claiming three wickets in an eventful 50th over to finish with 5-45.

Another uncapped player, batsman Saad Ali, was included after he scored 144 runs for Pakistan A against New Zealand A in the United Arab Emirates.

Pakistan left out Imam-ul-Haq on precautionary grounds after he suffered a blow on his helmet in the second match on Friday but his scans were clear.

Zaman's omission is perhaps the most surprising, given that his Test debut yielded two half-centuries (94 & 66) in the last Test that Pakistan played- a thumping 373-run victory against Australia in October in the UAE.

Williamson is expected to be fit for the tests after he was a late scratching from game three due to a minor groin strain, handing over the reins to Tom Latham.



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