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Page last updated at 19:44 GMT, Monday, 9 November 2009

NZ withstand Aamer heroics to win

Third one-day international, Abu Dhabi (Sheikh Zahed Stadium):
New Zealand 211 beat Pakistan 204 by seven runs
Match scorecard

Dan Vettori
Vettori got the ball rolling with the wicket of Khalid Latif

New Zealand had to weather a remarkable innings from Pakistan tail-ender Mohammad Aamer before clinching the one-day series decider in Abu Dhabi.

Chasing 212 to win, Pakistan were 47-0 after eight overs but hit the self-destruct button to reach 101-9.

Aamer then hit a stunning unbeaten 73 in a stand with Saeed Ajmal worth 103, but Pakistan fell seven runs short.

The 17-year-old Aamer made the highest score by a number 10 in one-day history but Ajmal was out with five balls left.

Though New Zealand could celebrate a 2-1 series win, much of the talk remained centred on Aamer.

He blazed three sixes in one Daniel Vettori over and then took on all the bowlers in a hugely successful assault considering he had come into the game with a best score of 37 in all organised professional cricket.

Aamer hit three fours off a wayward Kyle Mills and an edge of desperation crept into New Zealand's game as two appeals were denied and a couple of fortuitous edges - one from each batsman - brought further boundaries.

With about a run a ball required over the closing overs, Aamer and Ajmal played sensibly and 11 were needed from the last 10 balls when another big appeal, for a catch behind the wicket, was rejected.


But the first ball of the final over, bowled by Jacob Oram, finally provided New Zealand's salvation as Ajmal top-edged his pull to allows Mills, running in from fine leg, to take a good catch.

Pakistan's last two batsmen had produced the best stand by a final-wicket pair in ODIs since Viv Richards and Michael Holding in 1984 at Old Trafford.

Earlier, Brendon McCullum followed up his match-winning century last Friday with an aggressive 76 after the Black Caps had won the toss and opted to bat first.

But New Zealand could not build fully on McCullum's efforts and were bowled out for 211 in the 47th over despite Ross Taylor also contributing well with 44.

They fell away badly in the latter half of their innings as Ajmal (4-33) and his fellow spinners took a firm grip of the game. But the advantage was frittered away alarmingly quickly by the Pakistan batsmen.

The procession of wickets began when Khalid Latif fell lbw to Vettori, before Salman Butt was run out after a mix-up with Younus Khan. Pakistan's skipper then saw his defensive edge off Shane Bond snared by Taylor in the slips.

Despite facing an easy required run rate, Pakistan's middle and lower order played a succession of wild shots against some accurate but not over-demanding bowling.

Shoaib Malik miscued a pull, Umar Akmal edged a cut, Shahid Afridi nicked his drive behind before Kamran Akmal surpassed them as he tried to fetch Tim Southee from outside off-stump only to pick out mid-on.

In the 24th over, Umar Gul hit a drive to mid-on only for his non-striking partner Abdul Razzaq to charge down the wicket for a non-existent single and be sent back. He was run out by yards to leave the score 86-8.

The last three batsmen were left to score 126 between them, and though Gul hung around grimly to see them pass 100 he eventually picked out deep midwicket off Oram (3-20) following a succession of maidens.

New Zealand appeared on course for a massive victory, but they were pushed every inch of the way by Aamer and Ajmal.

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see also
McCullum helps Kiwis draw level
06 Nov 09 |  Cricket
Pakistan make short work of Kiwis
03 Nov 09 |  Cricket
Moles quits as New Zealand coach
24 Oct 09 |  New Zealand
Pakistan recall Farhat to squad
22 Oct 09 |  Pakistan
Kiwis set up final with Australia
03 Oct 09 |  Cricket
Pakistan v New Zealand (in UAE) 2009
09 Nov 09 |  Cricket

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