| Scott Styris, who took two for 32 Sunday against Pakistan in Dambulla. (Reuters)
Dambulla: New Zealand completed an emphatic seven-wicket win against Pakistan in the second match of the one-day International tri-series on Sunday.
Chasing a paltry 117 after a fine display by their bowlers, New Zealand cruised home with 22.3 overs to spare.
Chris Nevin, the team’s pinch-hitter, started briskly with 28 from 29 balls, then Lou Vincent (25 not out) and Chris Cairns (18 not out) weathered a barrage from fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar to clinch victory.
It was New Zealand’s first one-day match since a disappointing World Cup where they failed to make the last four.
Pakistan, who beat Sri Lanka on Saturday to keep up a good recent run never recovered from a disastrous first hour when they slumped to 17 for five.
Struggling to come to grips with extravagant seam movement, Four out of the top six were dismissed for ducks. After a 25-run stand for the sixth wicket between Taufeeq Umar and Shoaib Malik they were left reeling again on 51 for seven.
Rashid Latif and Shoaib Akhtar, top-scorer with 27, put on 45 from 70 balls before New Zealand wrapped up the innings in the 44th over.
New-ball bowlers Daryl Tuffey and Shane Bond capitalised on the conditions to share four wickets. Tuffey took two for 28 from 10 overs and Bond finished with two for seven from five.
New Zealand hope Bond will be fit for the next game against Sri Lanka on Tuesday after suffering a back injury. Skipper Stephen Fleming said: “We are pretty concerned but we will have to wait 24 hours before seeing how much mobility he gets back.”
Sri Lanka’s team management is concerned over the health of former skipper Sanath Jayasuriya after his fourth bout of tonsillitis in three months.
Jayasuriya stayed in bed and missed practice on Sunday after suffering with what manager Ajit Jayasekera described as “a severe fever.”
Jayasuriya was plagued with tonsillitis during the Super Six stage of the World Cup and was laid low again during last month’s Sharjah Cup.
He is expected to play in the tri-series game against New Zealand on Tuesday but Jayasekera said: “We are concerned by the number of times that he has been laid low by tonsillitis. This is the fourth time since the start of the World Cup.” Officials hope Jayasuriya will be able to practice on Monday ahead of Tuesday’s match.