Yesterday ODI cricket returned to the Basin Reserve in Wellington for the first time in 11 years and for only the second time this century. Pakistan faced New Zealand with the advantage of putting New Zealand in to bat, and with the mercurial Brendon McCullum out to injury, Kane Williamson led the home team. A fine late order recovery from 99/6 led by new boy Henry Nicholls (82) and ably assisted by skilful batting from numbers eight through ten, Mitchell Santner (48), Matt Henry (48no) and Mitchell McClenaghan (31rh) saw New Zealand post 280/8. Mohammad Amir and Anwawr Ali both picked up three wickets, with the latter returning expensive figures of 9.5-0-66-3.
The New Zealand score never seemed sufficient with Pakistan cruising at 118/2, but paceman Trent Boult (9-1-40-4) and medium-pacer Grant Elliott (10-1-43-3) embarrassed the Pakistan middle order, with only Babar Azam (62) passing fifty. Pakistan were all out for 210 after 46 overs - a win to New Zealand by 70 runs. And a prime example why more one-dayers should be hosted at the Basin, which is a far more pleasant environment for a match than the impersonal and uncomfortable Stadium.