Imam head injury overshadows Pak's win

Imam head injury overshadows Pak's win

WORRYING SIGNS: Pakistan opener Imam Ul-Haq lies on the pitch after being hit by a short ball from New Zealand's Lockie Ferguson during the second one day international. AFP

Pakistan beat New Zealand by six wickets in the second day-night international in Abu Dhabi on Friday but the match was overshadowed by a worrying injury to opening batsman Imam-ul-Haq who was taken to hospital after being hit on the head by a short ball.

Imam, on 16, was forced to retire after a short delivery from fast bowler Lockie Ferguson hit the grille of his helmet, making him dizzy before he fell to the ground.

His eyes were closed but he did not lose consciousness.

The Pakistan team management originally said that the 22-year-old would undergo CT scans and be monitored for the next 48 hours.

However, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) later said that scans had shown that the player had suffered no damage.

"Imam-ul-Haq all scans clear. He joined the team and will remain under observation of the physio," the PCB tweeted. On the pitch, pace bowler Shaheen Shah Afridi recorded his career best bowling while figures while opener Fakhar Zaman hit a half century to help Pakistan to a series-levelling victory.

Shaheen's 4/38 kept New Zealand down to 209 nine in their 50 overs before Zaman returned to form with a run-a-ball 88 for his seventh fifty to guide Pakistan to their target for the loss of four wickets in 40.3 overs. Veteran batsman Ross Taylor top-scored for New Zealand with a laborious 120-ball 86 not out and added 75 for the fifth wicket with Henry Nicholls, who made a gruelling 33 off 63 balls.

With the win Pakistan broke a four-year losing streak of 12 consecutive one-day internationals against the Black Caps.

The win also sets up an intriguing final match in Dubai on Sunday. "We wanted to stage a comeback and the team did well to do that," said Pakistan captain Sarfraz Ahmed.

"We kept them to a low total courtesy of Shaheen and then Fakhar and Babar batted so well." New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson admitted his team did not put a defendable total.

"A bit of scrapping that got us a total," he said. "It wasn't enough on that surface. We were outplayed." Zaman, who had a poor 57 runs in the last six one-day internationals, punished the New Zealand bowlers with 11 boundaries and gave Pakistan a rapid 54-run start with Imam.