CHRISTCHURCH: New Zealand took an unassailable lead over Pakistan Saturday to retain their berth in the Davis Cup Asia/Oceania Group I when Michael Venus and Marcus Daniell won their doubles in straight sets.
Venus and Daniell beat Aqeel Khan and Mohammad Abid Ali Khan Akbar 6-0, 6-1, 6-2 to give New Zealand a 3-0 lead after Jose Statham and Finn Tearney won the opening singles on Friday, also in straight sets.
The New Zealand doubles pair were too classy, with Venus holding the opening serve in the match to love and the three sets were all over in 74 minutes.
Pakistan produced some resistance in the second and third sets but never seriously threatened the New Zealanders who are both regulars on the ATP circuit.
The result means New Zealand remain in the Asia/Oceania Group 1 next year while Pakistan are relegated to Group 2 next year.
With New Zealand having wrapped up the tie in three games, the reverse singles on Sunday will be the best of three sets.