Cricket; Wasim puts spell on Kiwis

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Pakistan thrashed New Zealand by 54 runs in the third one-day match between the sides in Wellington yesterday to take a 2-1 lead in the four- match series.

New Zealand won the toss and put the tourists in, but little else went right for the Kiwis as Pakistan piled on 261 for 4 in perfect conditions in front of a sell-out Basin Reserve crowd.

New Zealand took off in pursuit of the target with Craig Spearman scoring a quickfire 33, but the Pakistan captain and man of the match, Wasim Akram, removed him and Bryan Young in successive balls. When Aqib Javed had Nathan Astle caught two balls later, New Zealand's fate was virtually sealed. They were all out for 207 in the 45th over when Wasim uprooted opposing captain Lee Germon's middle stump.

The win was set up by Pakistan's opening batsmen, Ramiz Raja and Aamir Sohail, before Ramiz was run out for 21. Sohail scored 58 before Gavin Larsen bowled him when he played across the line. Inzamam-ul-Haq (54) and Ijaz Ahmed (42) increased the tempo and even their dismissals brought no respite. Salim Malik and Wasim Akram hammered the New Zealanders relentlessly, Wasim scoring 36 not out off just 15 deliveries, including two sixes and three fours.

ONE-DAY INTERNATIONAL (Wellington): Pakistan 261 for 4; New Zealand 207. Pakistan won by 54 runs and lead 2-1 in four-match series.