Cricket: Black Caps fall to Pakistan in warm-up

Pakistan's bowler Umar Gul, right, reacts after taking the wicket of New Zealand batsman Luke Ronchi. Photo / AP
Pakistan's bowler Umar Gul, right, reacts after taking the wicket of New Zealand batsman Luke Ronchi. Photo / AP

New Zealand's batting lineup struggled in Bangladesh conditions yet again ahead of the upcoming Twenty20 World Cup in Dhaka.

The Black Caps failed to win a match on their short Bangladesh tour last October, and were beaten in the final over by Pakistan in a warm-up match for the World Cup.

New Zealand posted 145 for 9 and, although Pakistan won with only a ball to spare, were always in control finishing on 149-4 (Kamran Akmal retired out when 52).

Brendon McCullum scored an unbeaten 59 from 45 balls but found little support from the rest of the New Zealand batting lineup. Colin Munro chimed in with 20 and Martin Guptill (11) was the only other player to reach double figures.

"We managed to get through to a competitive total because Brendon batted pretty much all the way through,'' Tim Southee said.

Bowling coach Shane Bond said they need to improve their batting in particular ahead of their first World Cup match against England on Sunday morning (NZT). They play Australia in their final warm-up game tomorrow night.

"We just didn't get quite enough contributions around Brendon today,'' Bond said. "We didn't play anywhere near our best and we still got close to a win so there are a few areas for us to tidy up.''

Southee expects scores like what they posted will be competitive in the tournament.

"They're not going to be big scores. I think with the nature of the slowness of the wickets, whether they'll be the same in the actual tournament we'll have to wait and see, but I think around those 150 scores they'll be competitive and defendable.''

He says they will take plenty out of the game and realise they have to build partnerships.

"The benefit of it happening in a warm up game I think we can learn from it. And I think that's what kills you in Twenty20 cricket, when you lose wickets in clumps and it's hard to start obviously.''

- Newstalk ZB

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