The first ODI between Pakistan and New Zealand began with flared tempers as Ross Taylor accused Mohammad Hafeez of chucking the ball. The whole episode created a whole lot of tension between Taylor and Pakistan skipper Sarfraz Ahmed, and the latter even complained to the umpires. Hafeez’s bowling action has been suspended three times in the past by International Cricket Council (ICC) and came under scrutiny once again after Taylor’s allegation.
Sarfraz lashed out at Taylor in the post-match press conference, asking him to stick to batting and declaring that Kiwi batsman’s actions were unsportsmanlike. In the second ODI between the two teams, Taylor was once again batting against Hafeez. People thought that this was another rivalry in making but then something happened which washed away the tensions between the two.
What seemed like an attempt to flight the ball a little, Hafeez ended up losing control of the ball as it slipped out of his hand. It went straight up into the air and way outside the off stump. Despite this Taylor went after the shot hoping that he could dispatch the full toss for a boundary but he missed it completely.
The whole episode in the 15th over brought a smile to everyone’s face including Hafeez, Sarfraz and Taylor and lightened the mood.
What helped perhaps is that both the players did well for their respective teams. Hafeez bowled an economical spell giving just 31 runs from 10 overs with one wicket in his bag. Whereas Ross Taylor took the team past the 200 run-mark after the batting collapse by scoring an unbeaten knock of 86 runs from 120 deliveries. However, Pakistan had the last laugh winning the ODI comprehensively.