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Newlzealand Cricket

Auckland: Jesse Ryder hit six sixes in an innings of 107 to lift New Zealand to 311 for seven, batting first in Saturday’s sixth one-day international against Pakistan.

Ryder, batting at No. 3 after Brendon McCullum was promoted to open, reached his second ton century from 82 balls after Pakistan won the toss and sent New Zealand in to bat.

Scott Styris and Nathan McCullum then smashed fifities in a 120-run stand for the sixth wicket, taking 71-runs from the last five overs, to ensure New Zealand passed 300.

McCullum made 65 from 50 balls with seven fours and three sixes, falling to penultimate ball of the innings, and Styris was left 58 not out from 44 balls after running out Kyle Mills on the final ball.

The pair helped revive New Zealand’s innings which had faltered after Ryder was out at 190-5 in the 36th over, having hit seven fours and six sixes from 93 balls.

The home side managed only 50 runs in the next 10 overs as Pakistan slowed their run-rate with accurate bowling from Umar Gul, Abdul Razaaq and captain Shahid Afridi.

New Zealand were 240 for five when they took the batting power play after 45 overs, looking unlikely to reach 300. McCullum and Styris then transformed the innings, battering 11 runs from the first powerplay over, 13 from the second, 19 from the third and 14 from the fourth and fifth.

Afridi, who was confirmed yesterday as Pakistan’s World Cup captain — winning that role ahead of Test captain Misbah ul-Haq who was omitted from today’s lineup — employed unusual bowling and fielding combinations during the powerplay.

Abdul Razzaq, who took 2-23 as his most economical bowler, was not used, nor was veteran Shoaib Akhtar. Instead, Afridi used left-armer Sohail Tanvir who had been heavily punished by the New Zealanders earlier in the innings and who conceded 78 runs from his eight overs.

Afridi also kept five fieldsmen inside the circle on the off-side and only one on the leg side, behind square.

The placement meant McCullum and Styris were able to take full advantage, as Ryder had earlier, of the short boundaries at Eden Park. They were able to flat-bat the ball over the short off-side field or down the ground and to work regular singles and twos through the unpatrolled leg-side.

Ryder’s innings, which came as a confidence boost after a poor series, gave New Zealand’s effort early solidity. He put on 123 for the second wicket with Martin Guptill (44) after New Zealand had lost Brendon McCullum for 12.

Ryder reached his half century from 34 balls and continued scoring at a similar pace, though he batted through the latter part of his innings with a runner.

Captain Ross Taylor and all-rounder James Franklin were out cheaply but Styris and McCullum were able to reassert New Zealand’s dominance. McCullum reached his half century from 45 balls and Styris from 40 balls.

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