Pakistan look to clinch New Zealand one-day series

ABU DHABI: Stand-in captain Shahid Afridi is hoping Pakistan can maintain their winning momentum and seal the series against New Zealand in the fourth one-day match in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday.

Pakistan lead the five-match series 2-1 after winning the first match in Dubai and the third in Sharjah.

New Zealand won the second game, also played in Sharjah.

Afridi, leading the side in the absence of Misbah-ul Haq who injured his hamstring and was ruled out of the last three games, said he wanted a strong finish from his side.

“The team has been playing here for the last three months and has played good cricket so it should be a happy ending after the Test and T20 trophies were shared,” said Afridi on Tuesday.

Pakistan lost the only Twenty20 against Australia in October before being white-washed 0-3 by Australia in the one-day series — also played in United Arab Emirates.

They then beat Australia 2-0 in Tests and squared the Twenty20 and Test series against New Zealand.

Pakistan were forced to send paceman Umar Gul and all-rounder Bilawal Bhatti home after both suffered injuries.

Afridi credited the team management for Pakistan´s big 147-run win in the third match on Friday.

Pakistan has the option of resting wayward paceman Wahab Riaz and bringing in all-rounder Anwar Ali.

The fifth and final match will also be played in Abu Dhabi on Friday.