Pakistan skipper Azhar Ali urged to maintain focus

Pakistan skipper Azhar Ali ODi

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Pakistan skipper Azhar Ali has urged his side to cut out the mistakes that cost them dear on Monday when they face New Zealand in the second one-day international later this week.

The Asians restricted the Kiwis to 280-8 from their 50 overs last time out before succumbing to 210 all out to hand the Black Caps an early advantage in the three-match series.

But it could have been so much better, as Kane Williamson’s side had been reduced to 99-6 at one stage, with excellent bowling from Mohammad Irfan, Mohammad Amir and Anwar Ali.

But the tourists could not finish the job and 82 from Henry Nicholls meant that the hosts had something substantial to defend.

And it proved far too much for Pakistan, with Babar Azam’s 62 their top score in a poor run chase.

The sides have now moved on to Napier, with New Zealand priced at 1.40 to claim the spoils on Thursday and the visitors on offer at 2.88.

And Azhar knows his men must not commit the same errors both with the bat and in the field if they are to win match two and keep the series alive for the finale.

“We’ll try not to repeat the same mistakes from the last match and improve our overall game for the second ODI,” he said.

“The team had a good opportunity to bowl out New Zealand cheaply and win the match but we failed to capitalise on it.

“There were lapses in the field; we missed some chances which gave our opponents leverage to rebuild their innings and hurt us badly towards the end.”

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