Babar Azam and Haris Sohail kept Pakistan's Cricket World Cup hopes alive by consigning New Zealand to a six-wicket defeat at Edgbaston, Birmingham on Wednesday (June 26). After opting to bat first, New Zealand were struggling at 83/5 before James Neesham's unbeaten 97 and Colin de Grandhomme's 64 pushed the Kiwis to 237/6 in their 50 overs. For Pakistan, Shaheen Shah Afridi took three wickets. In reply, Azam (101*) and Sohail (68) showed intent on a tricky pitch that offered sharp turn to help their side cross the finishing line with five balls to spare. Get highlights of New Zealand (NZ) vs (PAK) Pakistan here (SCORECARD | POINTS TABLE | FULL SCHEDULE | SEMIS QUALIFICATION SCENARIOS)
00:20 hrs IST: That's it. Thank you for joining us!
Babar Azam, Player of the Match: "I think this is the best (knock of mine in ODIs), because it was a must-win game. Track was a bit slow and also spinning a bit. Idea was always to bat till the end and it worked. When we started, the idea was to play out the fast bowlers, especially Ferguson. But when Santner came and got the ball to rip, we understood that it's important to keep him off. Idea was to just be careful against him."
23:54 hrs IST: FOUR! That's it. Pakistan win by six wickets, hand the Kiwis their first loss of the tournament. Babar Azam - Classy player!
23:44 hrs IST: Single towards deep cover and that's a century for Babar Azam - maiden ton in World Cup and 10th overall. He's also the second youngest to score a ton for Pakistan in World Cups. What an innings!
23:40 hrs IST: Boult ends with 1/48. Azam unbeaten on 99. Pakistan are 225/3 after 47 overs, need 13 off 18.
23:32 hrs IST: FOUR! Length ball from Boult and Sohail lifts it over mid-off for a boundary. Pakistan are 215/3 after 45 overs, need 23 off 30.
23:25 hrs IST: Santner finishes with figures of 0/38. Pakistan are 207/3 after 44 overs, need 31 off 36.
23:19 hrs IST: Thirty-seven runs off the last five overs. Pakistan are 201/3 after 42 overs, need 37 off 48. Azam 89*, Sohail 47*
23:10 hrs IST: Just four off Santner's eighth. No wickets, not much pressure on Pakistan. They are 183/3 after 40 overs, need 55 off 60.
23:05 hrs IST: FOUR! Fuller delivery from Williamson, outside off, Sohail hits it through extra cover for a boundary. Pakistan are 179/3 after 39 overs, need 59 off 66. Mitchell Santner comes back into the attack.
22:58 hrs IST: Successive boundaries from Azam. Moves into 70s. Pakistan are 164/3 after 37 overs, need 74 off 78. Trent Boult comes back into the attack.
22:55 hrs IST: FOUR! Full delivery from Munro and Azam hits well in the gap between mid-off and extra cover. Nine off the over. Pakistan are 154/3, need 84 off 84.
22:51 hrs IST: Surprising change in the bowling attack. Some medium pace of Colin Munro now. Don't know what Williamson is thinking here
22:47 hrs IST: Required rate has shot up to six now. Pakistan are 142/3 after 34 overs. Azam 56*, Soahil 22*
22:40 hrs IST: Only three off Williamson's fifth. Pakistan are 139/3 after 33 overs, need 99 off 102. Drinks are on the field now.
22:37 hrs IST: Twenty-one runs off the last 30 deliveries. Pakistan are 136/3 after 32 overs, need 102 off 108.
22:30 hrs IST: SIX! Flighted delivery from Santner, Sohail charges down the track and creams it over wide long-on for a maximum. Good over for Pakistan, eight off it. Pakistan are 128/3 after 30 overs. Azam 51*, Sohail 15*
22:24 hrs IST: Another quality over from Santner, just one off it. Pakistan are 116/3 after 28 overs, need 122 off 132.
22:20 hrs IST: Single and Azam brings up his half-century. Can he get a big one here? Pakistan are 115/3 after 27 overs, need 123 off 138.
22:13 hrs IST: OUT! A good start thrown away by Hafeez. An easy catch for Ferguson at deep mid-wicket. First wicket for Williamson. Much-needed breakthrough for the Kiwis. Haris Sohail, who played a blistering knock against South Africa, comes to the crease. Pakistan are 110/3 after 25 overs.
22:08 hrs IST: Another solid over from Santner, only one run off it. Pakistan are 105/2 after 24 overs. Kane Williamson comes into the attack.
22:04 hrs IST: Costly over from Neesham, 13 off it. Pakistan are 104/2 after 23 overs. Azam 45*, Hafeez 29*
22:00 hrs IST: MISSED! Reprieve for Azam. Thick edge and Latham puts it down. How costly will that be? Santner has bowled really well. He deserved it. Pakistan are 91/2 after 22 overs. Azam 38*, Hafeez 24*
21:56 hrs IST: Just five off the last two overs. New Zealand in desperate need of wickets here. Pakistan are 89/2 after 21 overs. Azam 36*, Hafeez 24*
21:49 hrs IST: FOUR! Short and wide from Neesham and Azam cuts it past point. Pakistan are 84/2 after 19 overs. Azam 34*, Hafeez 21*
21:44 hrs IST: Sharp turn for Santner. Encouraging! Get a feeling something is going to happen here. Pakistan are 80/2 after 18 overs. Another change in bowling. James Neesham comes into the attack.
21:40 hrs IST: FOUR! Length ball from Ferguson, Azam opens the bat face and times it past point. Pakistan are 77/2 after 17 overs. Azam 28*, Hafeez 20*. Some spin now. Mitchell Santner comes into the attack.
21:31 hrs IST: FOUR! Too wide from De Grandhomme and Hafeez hits it past point. Moves into 20s. Pakistan are 71/2 after 16 overs. Azam 23*. Time for drinks!
21:27 hrs IST: Thirteen off the previous two overs. Pakistan are 64/2 after 15 overs. Azam 20*, Hafeez 16*
21:20 hrs IST: FOUR! Short delivery from Ferguson, Hafeez gets into position early and pulls it to the square leg boundary. First boundary for Hafeez. Pakistan are 51/2 after 13 overs. Azam 16*, Hafeez 7*
Sightscreen problems once again
21:10 hrs IST: Only one run off Henry's sixth. Pakistan are 46/2 after 12 overs. Azam 16*, Hafeez 2*. Ferguson again
21:06 hrs IST: OUT! Short from Ferguson, Imam look to defend but a full-length drive from the backward point fielder - Guptill again - sends him back to the pavilion. Pakistan have lost both their openers. Mohammad Hafeez comes to the crease. Pakistan are 45/2 after 11 overs.
21:00 hrs IST: Outstanding over from Henry, two off it. Pakistan are 43/1 after 10 overs. Imam 19*, Azam 15*. Here's the first change in bowling. Lockie Ferguson comes into the attack.
20:55 hrs IST: Nine off the last 12 balls. Pakistan are 41/1 after 9 overs. Imam 18*, Azam 14*
20:48 hrs IST: Boult continues to keep things tight. Pakistan are 32/1 after 7 overs. Imam 18*, Azam 5*
20:44 hrs IST: Another decent over from Henry, six off it. Pakistan are 30/1 after 6 overs. Imam 16*, Azam 5*
20:40 hrs IST: FOUR! Length ball from Boult, seams away, Imam gets an outside edge that runs away well past the fielder at first slip. Pakistan are 24/1 after 5 overs.
20:36 hrs IST: Good comeback from Henry, only one run off his second. Pakistan are 20/1 after 4 overs. Imam 11*, Azam 2*
20:32 hrs IST: OUT! Length delivery from Boult, down leg, Zaman looks to loft it over mid-wicket but gets a leading edge and Guptill takes a neat catch at point. Babar Azam comes to the crease. Pakistan are 19/1 after 3 overs.
20:27 hrs IST: FOUR! Pitched up from Henry, Imam leans forward to play a straight drive. Costly over from the New Zealander, 11 off it. Pakistan are 15/0 after 2 overs.
20:23 hrs IST: FOUR! Little bit of pace, little bit of bounce and Imam pulls away to deep square leg for his first boundary. Pakistan are 4/0 after the first over. Matt Henry comes into the attack.
20:20 hrs IST: Time for Pakistan's chase. Imam-ul-Haq to take strike. Trent Boult to open the attack.
19:50 hrs IST: That's it. What a fightback from New Zealand. They finish on 237/6. With a six on the last ball, Neesham remains unbeaten on 97. 53 off the last five overs. We'll be back shortly with Pakistan's reply.
19:44 hrs IST: High quality over from Amir, six off it (one was leg bye). New Zealand are 223/6 after 49 overs. Wahab to bowl the final six balls.
19:39 hrs IST: WICKET! De Grandhomme guides a slower delivery to third man, goes for the second run but it wasn't there. Still a top innings from the Kiwi all-rounder 64(71). Mitchell Santner comes to the crease. New Zealand are 217/6 after 48 overs. Amir to bowl the penultimate over.
19:34 hrs IST: SIX! Offcutter from Amir and Neesham it over deep mid-wicket for a maximum. Two more boundaries - from De Grandhomme. Amir has been very expensive today. 63 off nine overs. New Zealand are 209/5 after 47 overs.
19:28 hrs IST: Just seven off Wahab's eighth. New Zealand are 191/5 after 46 overs. Neesham 70*, De Grandhomme 54*
19:23 hrs IST: Single and that's a second half-century in three matches for De Grandhomme. Great innings! New Zealand are 184/5 after 45 overs. This has been a superb recovery from the Kiwis.
19:19 hrs IST: Afridi finishes with amazing figures of 3/28. New Zealand are 176/5 after 44 overs. How much can get off the last 36 balls?
19:13 hrs IST: FOUR! Length delivery from Amir, De Grandhomme comes forward and hits it through the line, to the wide of mid-off. Six off Amir's seventh. New Zealand are 172/5 after 43 overs. Neesham 61*, De Grandhomme 46*
19:08 hrs IST: FOUR! Full and slow from Afridi and Neesham flicks it past the fielder at short fine leg. New Zealand are 166/5 after 42 overs. Neesham 60*, De Grandhomme 42*
19:02 hrs IST: Nice spell from Shadab, ends with 1/43. New Zealand are 155/5 after 41 overs. Neesham 52*, De Grandhomme 39*
19:00 hrs IST: Single towards third man and that's a half-century for Neesham - sixth in ODIs. Solid knock from him, considering the situation of the game. Needs to stay till the end. New Zealand are 152/5 after 40 overs. Shadab Khan to bowl his final over.
18:55 hrs IST: FOUR! Short delivery from Wahab, De Grandhomme goes for the pull but gets a top edge that flies over Sarfaraz's head. Six off the over. New Zealand are 150/5 after 39 overs. Neesham 49*, De Grandhomme 37*. Shaheen Afridi comes back into the attack.
18:51 hrs IST: Another tidy over, this time from Amir. New Zealand are 144/5 after 38 overs. Wahab to continue. This has been a great partnership. Anything around 220-230 will be a good score.
18:47 hrs IST: The umpires have warned Wahab for the first time, for running on the danger area of the pitch. Good over from him though, three off it. New Zealand are 142/5 after 37 overs.
18:42 hrs IST: FOUR! Short delivery from Amir and Neesham pulls past mid-wicket. New Zealand are 139/5 after 36 overs. Neesham 45*, De Gradnhomme 30*. Wahab Riaz comes back into the attack.
18:38 hrs IST: SIX! Too short from Shadab, De Grandhomme rocks back and smashes it over deep mid-wicket boundary for a maximum. Moves to 29. New Zealand are 132/5 after 35 overs. Mohammad Amir comes back into the attack.
18:32 hrs IST: SIX! Tossed up from Shadab, Neesham gets on his knee and smacks it over long-on for a maximum. Costly over from Shadab, 12 off it. New Zealand are 115/5 after 33 overs.
18:27 hrs IST: Six off Imad's second. Pakistan need to attack this partnership with pace. Either Amir or Afridi should be brought back into the attack. New Zealand are 103/5 after 32 overs. Neesham 26*, De Grandhomme 13*
18:24 hrs IST: Imad Wasim comes back into the attack. Can he strike?
18:21 hrs IST: Fine over from Shadab, only three off it. New Zealand are 97/5 after 31 overs. Neesham 24*, De Grandhomme 9*. Drinks are on the field now.
18:16 hrs IST: FOUR! Length ball, outside off, De Grandhomme hits it straight down the ground for his first boundary of the day. Six off Wahab's fifth. New Zealand are 94/5 after 30 overs.
18:08 hrs IST: A wicket and just 10 off the last 30 balls. New Zealand are 86/5 after 28 overs. Neesham 20*, De Grandhomme 2*
18:03 hrs IST: OUT! Length delivery from Shadab, Williamson gets forward looking to defend but gets an outside edge and Sarfaraz takes a spectacular catch. Colin de Grandhomme comes to the crease. New Zealand are 84/5 after 27 overs.
17:58 hrs IST: Get a feeling that Henry Nicholls could replace Colin Munro from the next game -- whatever the result of this fixture. New Zealand need some stability at the top of the order. They are 82/4 after 26 overs. Williamson 41*, Neesham 18*
17:51 hrs IST: Another wonderful over, this time from Wahab. Just one off it. New Zealand are 77/4 after 24 overs. Williamson 39*, Neesham 15*
17:47 hrs IST: Very good over from Shadab, only two off it. New Zealand are 76/4 after 23 overs. Williamson 38*, Neesham 15*. Wahab to continue.
17:44 hrs IST: FOUR! Inside edge and it runs away to the fine leg boundary. Narrowly misses Williamson's off stump. New Zealand are 74/4 after 22 overs. Williamson 37*, Neesham 14*
17:40 hrs IST: Pakistan should be a bit cautious here. Can't let both Williamson and Neesham get those easy runs. A couple of wickets and the Kiwis will find it tough to get past 160. New Zealand are 68/4 after 21 overs. Wahab Riaz comes into the attack.
17:34 hrs IST: Only six runs off the last 12 deliveries. New Zealand are 60/4 after 19 overs. Williamson 28*, Neesham 9*
17:28 hrs IST: Single off the last ball for Williamson. Just two off the over. New Zealand are 54/4 after 17 overs. Williamson 26*, Neesham 5*
17:24 hrs IST: Just four runs off Hafeez's fifth. This is superb captaincy from Sarfaraz. An extended spell for Afridi and a spinner who is keeping things tight from the other end. New Zealand are 52/4 after 16 overs. Williamson 25*, Neesham 4*
17:19 hrs IST: Dominating stuff! Maiden. Afridi's figures - 6-3-9-3. New Zealand are 48/4 after 15 overs.
17:15 hrs IST: Another extremely good from Hafeez, just two off it. New Zealand are 48/4 after 14 overs. Williamson 24*, Neesham 1*
17:12 hrs IST: Rollicking performance from Afridi. Has three wickets now. New Zealand are 46/4 after 13 overs. Williamson 23*, Neesham 0*
17:08 hrs IST: OUT! Length delivery from Afridi, moves away a bit, Latham looks to defend but gets a thin edge and Sarfaraz does the rest. The Pakistani skipper doesn't miss those. James Neesham comes to the crease. Three slips and a gully.
17:04 hrs IST: A wicket and 21 runs off the last 31 balls. The Black Caps need a big partnership here. Once again, Williamson holds the key. They are 45/3 after 12 overs. Williamson 22*, Latham 1*
17:00 hrs IST: Another maiden from Afridi. Stupendous start from Pakistan thus far. New Zealand are 44/3 after 11 overs. Williamson 21*, Latham 1*. Mohammad Hafeez comes back into the attack.
16:55 hrs IST: Latham gets off the mark with a single towards deep square leg. New Zealand are 44/3 after 10 overs.
16:50 hrs IST: OUT! Length delivery from Afridi, just nips away, Taylor looks to defend but gets an edge and Sarfaraz dives full length to his right and takes a one-handed stunner. Tom Latham comes to the crease. New Zealand are 38/3 after 9 overs. Imad Wasim comes into the attack.
16:45 hrs IST: Consecutive boundaries from Williamson, one through cover and the second through cover point. Moves to 16. Another expensive over from Amir, 10 runs off it. New Zealand are 34/2 after 8 overs.
16:40 hrs IST: Impressive over from Afridi. A wicket-maiden! New Zealand are 24/2 after 7 overs.
16:37 hrs IST: OUT! Length ball from Afridi, Munro looks to hit it through cover but gets a thick edge and Haris Sohail completes a good catch at first slip. Ross Taylor comes to the crease. Slip and gully for him.
16:34 hrs IST: Tidy over from Amir, only two runs off it. New Zealand are 24/1 after 6 overs. Munro 12*, Williamson 6*. Afridi again.
16:29 hrs IST: FOUR! Length delivery from Afridi, on Williamson's pads, the Kiwi captain just times it to deep square leg. Shows the kind of form he's in. New Zealand are 22/1 after 5 overs. Munro 11*, Williamson 6*. There was a 8-minute delay.
Sightscreen issues. We'll resume shortly.
16:17 hrs IST: FOUR! Short of a length delivery from Amir and Munro slaps it past point. Easy pickings! Costly over from the Pakistan pacer, 10 off it. New Zealand are 18/1 after 4 overs. First change in bowling. Shaheen Shah Afridi comes into the attack.
16:12 hrs IST: Back-to-back good overs from Pakistan. Excellent beginning! New Zealand are 8/1 after 3 overs. Williamson 2*, Munro 1*
16:08 hrs IST: Magnificent start from Amir, a wicket and just one run. New Zealand are 6/1 after 2 overs. Hafeez to continue.
16:05 hrs IST: OUT! Full ball from Amir, Guptill looks to drive through the off side but plays it back onto his stumps. Another failure for the Kiwi opener. Has managed just 65 runs in his last five ODI innings. Kane Williamson comes to the crease.
16:03 hrs IST: Decent over from Hafeez despite the boundary. Just one off the next five balls. New Zealand are 5/0 after the first over. Mohammad Amir, Pakistan's highest wicket-taker (15) in this tournament, comes into the attack.
16:01 hrs IST: FOUR! Poor start from the Pakistani spinner. Full delivery, on Guptill's pads, the New Zealander sweeps it to the long leg boundary.
16:00 hrs IST: Time for live action. Martin Guptill and Colin Munro to open. Trial by spin - Mohammad Hafeez to begin the proceedings.
15:37 hrs IST: Playing XIs
Pakistan: Imam-ul-Haq, Fakhar Zaman, Babar Azam, Mohammad Hafeez, Haris Sohail, Sarfaraz Ahmed(w/c), Imad Wasim, Shadab Khan, Wahab Riaz, Mohammad Amir, Shaheen Afridi
New Zealand: Martin Guptill, Colin Munro, Kane Williamson(c), Ross Taylor, Tom Latham(w), James Neesham, Colin de Grandhomme, Mitchell Santner, Matt Henry, Lockie Ferguson, Trent Boult
15:33 hrs IST: New Zealand have won the toss and have opted to bat
Amassing 1,104 runs in 16 ODIs, with four centuries and an average of 73.60, Aaron Finch is hitting white-hot form at just the right time. And he only seems to be getting hotter as this ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup progresses, plundering 496 runs so far – a total only surpassed by his opening partner David Warner – with a pair of centuries.
15:09 hrs IST: GOOD NEWS - Toss at 15:30 IST. Start at 16:00. No overs lost.
Aaron Finch’s century against England was his best on the international stage. Selectors should be praised for their faith in left-arm seamer Jason Behrendorff, says Steve Waugh. Read full story here
Trent Boult: "Feels like a beautiful English summer morning. Hopefully there is not much of a delay. Heck of a game up in Manchester. Idolized him growing up... so I tried to pluck his brains (about his Chat with Wasim Akram). He said he enjoys seeing me pitch the ball up and try and get it to swing. Ohh I don't know... I didn't know that (surprised smile, when told NZ have the best economy rate at the death in this World Cup.) Set good fields and if you are in trouble get the batsman hitting over the fielders on the boundary."
14:11 hrs IST: There will be a delayed start due to wet outfield. There will be an inspection at 15:00 IST. The covers are coming off.
13:58 hrs IST: The only aspect that the Kiwis seem to be struggling is delivering their quota of overs within the stipulated time, and Williamson could be handed a suspension if the over-rate is slow in one more match.
13:42 hrs IST: BLOODY GENIUS - Kane Williamson's last 11 ODI innings in England - 93, 118, 90, 50, 100, 87, 57, 40, 79*, 106* and 148
13:33 hrs IST: Pakistan picked up a six-wicket win in their last ODI clash with New Zealand in November, ending a 12-game losing streak against the Kiwis.
13:25 hrs IST: BIG NUMBER - Ross Taylor is set to eclipse Nathan Astle (223) as the fifth-most capped player for New Zealand in ODI history.
13:12 hrs IST: New Zealand have won four of their seven completed ODI fixtures at Edgbaston, including a four-wicket victory over South Africa in this tournament.
13:08 hrs IST: STAT ATTACK - This will be the ninth World Cup meeting between New Zealand and Pakistan, who won six in a row between 1983 and 1999.
13:04 hrs IST: Hello and welcome to Outlook's live coverage of the ICC World Cup 2019 game between New Zealand and Pakistan.
Kane Williamson, the New Zealand captain, has been sensational with the bat, having followed up his unbeaten 106 against South Africa with a sublime 148 - his highest ODI score - in a thrilling five-run win over West Indies at Old Trafford, Manchester.
Their bowling unit, which includes Trent Boult and Lockie Ferguson, too has been in good form, while the 2015 World Cup finalists also have two talented all-rounders James Neesham and Colin de Grandhomme in their ranks.
For Pakistan, pacer Mohammad Amir has been in superb touch - claiming 15 wickets in six matches.
Their batting line-up lacked spark before Haris Sohail, who was dropped after the game against West Indies, made a strong comeback with a 59-ball 89 to help Pakistan post 308/7 against South Africa. In reply, the Proteas were restricted to 259/9. Shadab Khan and Wahab Riaz took three wickets each, while Amir grabbed two scalps.
But fielding is an area of concern for Pakistan and Sarfaraz too admitted that the team will need to pull up its socks.
"We have to work harder on fielding. Again we dropped so many catches (against South Africa), some straightforward and some half-chances. All three matches now are very crucial and we have to sort it out," Sarfaraz had said after the game against South Africa.
On facing New Zealand, Pakistan bowling coach Azhar Mahmood said: "They're definitely a very strong side. They won all of their games, so we know they're a strong side. If we can get our disciplines right, like we did last game - batting, bowling, and fielding - our ground fielding was really good, but unfortunately we dropped a lot of catches - we can beat any side."