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New Zealand take series as Pakistan fall short

ABU DHABI: New Zealand backed up by brilliant half-centuries from skipper Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor and pace-man Matt Henry's career best bowling beat Pakistan by 68 runs in the fifth and final ODI in Abu Dhabi on Friday.

Williamson's 97 and Taylor's 88 were the cornerstone of New Zealand's 275-4 before Henry's 5-30 helped dismiss Pakistan for 207 in 43.3 over’s for a 3-2 series win at Sheikh Zayed Stadium.

Pakistan won the first match in Dubai by three wickets and the third in Sharjah by 147 runs while New Zealand took the second by four wickets and the fourth game by seven runs.

Henry took the first three of the four wickets as Pakistan were struggling at 38-3 before Haris Sohail (65) and Ahmed Shehzad (54) put on 69 for the fourth wicket.
Henry then returned for his second spell to dismiss Shehzad followed by Sarfraz Ahmed (26) and Shahid Afridi (13) to improve on his previous best of 4-38 on debut against India at Wellington in January this year.

This becomes Pakistan's 12th defeat in the final games of a series after they were tied at 1-1 or 2-2. Their only win came against Zimbabwe in 2012.

Defeat left Pakistan without a one-day series win in 2014 after losing in Sri Lanka 2-1 and to Australia 3-0.

"It's nice to win," said Williamson. "It was such an up and down series and very tough but it's good to win against Pakistan."

Pakistan were off to a disastrous start when opener Nasir Jamshed was leg-before wicket in the first over to Henry for nought.

Henry then had Younis Khan (12) and Shehzad (54) to leave Pakistan struggling at 107-4.

In between, Anton Devcich had Asad Shafiq (seven) and Nathan McCullum dismissed Umar Akmal for six.

Sohail hit five fours and a six off 74 balls while Shehzad's knock off 81 balls had only two boundaries.

Shehzad was caught while Sohail was bowled by Mitchell McClenaghan, ending Pakistan's hopes of a win.

Afridi found enough positives despite the loss with the World Cup in February and March fast approaching.

"I congratulate New Zealand for the win," said Afridi, who deputised for Misbah-ul-Haq, injured in the second game.

"We have quite a few positives but our fielding needs to improve before the World Cup."

Earlier Williamson and Taylor propelled New Zealand to 275-4 in their 50 over’s.

Williamson added an invaluable 116 for the third wicket with Taylor before top-edging a sweep off leg-spinner Afridi and was caught behind.

He hit eight boundaries off 119 balls, following up his 123 in the series-leveling win on Wednesday, also in Abu Dhabi.

Taylor hit five boundaries and a six off 95 balls, giving impetus in the last 15 over’s in which 120 runs were scored.

Tom Latham chipped in with an 18-ball 22 with four boundaries and Luke Ronchi made 16.

Williamson also added 66 for the second wicket with Dean Brownlie (34) after New Zealand lost opener Martin Guptill for eight to pace-man Mohammad Irfan who finished with 2-62.

Afridi finished with 1-33 in his ten over’s.

Pakistan were forced to leave out opener Mohammad Hafeez who had a recurrence of a hamstring injury while struggling pace-man Sohail Tanvir was dropped, making way for Shafiq and Zulfiqar Babar.

New Zealand brought in McCullum and Devcich for Daniel Vettori and Corey Anderson. Vettori left for home to attend his brother's wedding.

The one-day series marked the end of Pakistan's two-and-a-half month activity in United Arab Emirates in which they lost the one-day series to Australia 3-0 but beat them in the Test series 2-0.