Williamson century guides Black Caps past Pakistan
A century from Kane Williamson helped New Zealand to a 61-run win over Pakistan via the Duckworth-Lewis method in their rain-hit opening one-day international.
Captain Williamson (115) scored his 10th ODI century to get the Black Caps to 315-7 after they were put in to bat at Basin Reserve in Wellington on Saturday.
Colin Munro (58) and Henry Nicholls (50) scored half-centuries and Pakistan were never in the chase in the first of five ODIs.
The tourists were reduced to 37-4 by Tim Southee (3-22) and Trent Boult (2-35) and got to 166-6 when the rain hit, ending the game in the 31st over with Fakhar Zaman unbeaten on 82.
ODI number 10 for Kane Williamson - in 106 balls.— BLACKCAPS (@BLACKCAPS) January 6, 2018
Big innings from the BLACKCAPS captain!
The first century in an ODI at the Basin in 43 years!
BLACKCAPS 271-4 entering the final 5 overs #NZvWI pic.twitter.com/HtCV9pjBWD
On a hard pitch with a tinge of grass, Pakistan opted to bowl and they were put under early pressure as Munro made a flying start, bring up his fifty off 33 balls.
Hasan Ali (3-61) had Munro caught behind to slow the Black Caps down before Williamson was dropped on 26, edging Faheem Ashraf (1-58) behind, but Sarfraz Ahmed was unable to hang onto the catch.
That would prove to be costly as Williamson and Martin Guptill (48) combined for a 73-run partnership.
Ross Taylor (12) was out cheaply at the hands of Hasan and Tom Latham (3) also went quickly.
Nicholls and Mohammad Amir (1-57) were involved in a nasty mid-pitch collision in the 44th over, but both were able to continue.
Williamson flashed Ali through point for four to bring up his century – the first in an ODI at the Basin Reserve in 43 years – as the Black Caps made 87 off the final 10 overs despite the captain and Nicholls' departure.
Pakistan's chances of a successful chase were ruined early.
Southee had Azhar Ali (6) lbw and the Pakistan opener unsuccessfully reviewed, before Babar Azam (0) was trapped in front two deliveries later.
Mohammad Hafeez (1) hooked Boult to Southee on the boundary in the fourth over to leave Pakistan at 13-3.
Shoaib Malik (13) was the next to go, poking at a Southee ball to be caught behind, while Sarfraz (8) was trapped in front by Todd Astle (1-29).
Zaman (82 not out) and Shadab Khan (28) rallied for Pakistan with a 78-run partnership before that was broken by Boult.
Rain then ended Pakistan's slim hopes of pulling off an unlikely victory, giving the Black Caps a 1-0 series lead ahead of game two on Tuesday.