Mohammad Hafeez Pakistan Luke Ronchi New Zealand
Pakistan and New Zealand hunt a victory in the 5th ODI to seal the seriesReuters

Pakistan and New Zealand just refuse to be separated on this tour. After a nerve-wracking fourth one-day international victory for New Zealand tied the series at 2-2, it is everything to play for as they head into the 5th ODI, the final one of the series, in Abu Dhabi on Friday.

Kane Williamson was the man of the match for New Zealand in the 4th one-dayer, leading from the front with the bat courtesy a brilliant hundred, which helped his team to 299 in the first innings.

Pakistan made a real fist of the chase, with Younis Khan scoring a century of his own, but fell short by seven runs to hand New Zealand a series-tying win.

"It has been an even series so far and both sides have found out that if you don't front up you get knocked over pretty quickly," New Zealand coach Mike Hesson said.

"We were poor in that third ODI with the ball. We showed a lack of experience with the ball, and I think from time to time that is going to happen with the group that we have got.

"But they are also incredibly talented, and I think we saw a slightly different side in the fourth match, albeit not perfect, but certainly a big improvement.

"With the bat we have done what we have shown in the last 12 months in terms of the top order setting the platform, and then we've been able to cash in at the tail end. To get a score of 300 on that surface was really pleasing."

The key to New Zealand's batting fortunes, of course, is their skipper for the series Williamson, who has just grown in a brilliant world-class batsmen over the last couple of years in all forms of the game.

If Williamson fires, the Kiwis invariably get a big score as well. "He's had a great 12 months," Hesson said. "He has scored the most runs for a New Zealander and in the last match in quite foreign conditions he showed how clever he is, and then at the end how destructive he is."

For Pakistan it will be about overcoming the defeat yet again, but there are plenty of positives for them to take from the last match, chief of them being the batting form of their stalwarts Younis and Shahid Afridi.

Afridi, in particular, is having a splendid series with the bat, and Pakistan will hope the enigmatic all-rounder continues his outstanding form in the final ODI as well and then the World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.

"Younis' form was very important, he has shown us his true potential," said Pakistan coach Waqar Younis. "Afridi also batted well and showed fighting abilities.

"I am happy at the fight, the expectations we had with our batting were fulfilled and we maintained a nine plus average, unfortunately we couldn't finish that but the fight pleased me."

Where to Watch Live

The 5th ODI match in Abu Dhabi is set for a 3 pm local time (4.30 pm IST, 4 pm PST, 11 am GMT) start with live coverage in India on Ten Action. Ten Sports and PTV Sports will show the match live in Pakistan.

The 5th one-day international can be watched via live streaming in India on Ten Sports Live, while viewers in Pakistan can watch the game on the same website or PTV Sports Live.

Watch the match in the US on Willow TV, while viewers can also live stream the ODI game on Willow TV Online. Viewers in Africa can catch the action live on SuperSport or SuperSport online, while audience in the Middle East can watch the match live on Ten Cricket UAE.

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