1 Comment

Pakistan end New Zealand’s unbeaten run with a stunning 42-run win in the final T20

Pakistan end New Zealand's unbeaten run with a stunning 42-run win in the final T20

Pakistan ended their disappointing tour of New Zealand on a high note as they pulled off a remarkable 42-run win in the final T20 match at Hagley Oval on Tuesday. That was Pakistan’s first series triumph following their four successive losses in the series by margins of five wickets, nine wickets, four wickets, and seven wickets, respectively. 

Throughout the series, Pakistan has been having trouble with the bat but showed some resilience and aggression after following victory in the toss and the decision to bat first. They posted a modest total of 134 for 8 in 20 overs, thanks to some late hitting by Abbas Afridi (15 not out off 6 balls) and Sahibzada Farhan (19 off 14 balls). Mohammad Rizwan was the top scorer for Pakistan with 38 off 38 balls, while Fakhar Zaman also chipped in with a quick-fire 33 off 16 balls, which included four sixes.

Pakistan had difficulties during their innings, losing wickets frequently and finding it challenging to build momentum. They lost their opener, Haseebullah Khan, for a duck in the first over, caught by Glenn Phillips off Tim Southee. Babar Azam, who had missed the first three matches due to a thumb injury, could not make an impact and was caught by Phillips off Ish Sodhi for 13 off 24 balls. Mohammad Nawaz, who had scored a fifty in the previous match, was also dismissed cheaply for 1, caught by Southee off Sodhi.

Pakistan were in trouble at 91 for 5 in the 15th over when they lost their set batsman Rizwan, who was caught by Rachin Ravindra off Matt Henry. Iftikhar Ahmed and Shaheen Shah Afridi also fell in quick succession, leaving Pakistan at 114 for 7 in the 19th over. However, Abbas Afridi and Farhan provided some fireworks in the final over, as they smashed 20 runs off Lockie Ferguson, including two sixes by Afridi.

New Zealand’s bowling was led by Southee and Sodhi, who both picked up two wickets each for 19 and 22 runs, respectively. Matt Henry and Lockie Ferguson also claimed two scalps each but were expensive, conceding 30 and 25 runs, respectively. Mitchell Santner was economical with none for 30 in four overs.

New Zealand, who had chased down targets of 154, 164, 174, and 144 in the previous four matches, were expected to cruise to another win, especially with their explosive opener Finn Allen in sublime form. Player of the series, Allen had scored 275 runs with a strike rate of 212.59 and an average of 91.66 over the series. However, Pakistan’s bowling proved to be too good for New Zealand, as they bowled out the hosts for just 92 runs in 17.2 overs, their lowest T20 total against Pakistan.

Surprisingly, New Zealand’s batting faltered as they never got going and dropped wickets frequently. Only three batsmen reached double figures, with Glenn Phillips being the highest scorer with 26 off 22 balls. Allen, who had scored 71, 17, 92, and 95 in the previous four matches, was dismissed for 22 off 19 balls, caught by Haseebullah Khan off Zaman Khan.

New Zealand’s chase got off to a shaky start, as they lost debutant Rachin Ravindra for 1, caught by Zaman Khan off Mohammad Nawaz in the second over. Allen and Tim Seifert tried to steady the innings but could not find the boundaries as Pakistan’s bowlers kept a tight line and length. Allen was the next to go in the fifth over, followed by Will Young, who Iftikhar Ahmed caught off Nawaz for 12 off 11 balls.

New Zealand were in trouble at 53 for 3 in the 10th over when they lost two more wickets in quick succession. Mark Chapman was run out by Zaman Khan and Iftikhar Ahmed for 1, while Seifert was trapped lbw by Iftikhar Ahmed for 19 off 30 balls. Phillips and Mitchell Santner tried to rebuild the innings, but the required run rate kept climbing. Santner was caught and bowled by Usama Mir for 4, while Phillips was caught by Abbas Afridi off Shaheen Shah Afridi for 26.

New Zealand’s lower order could not offer any resistance, as they lost their last four wickets for just eight runs. Matt Henry, Ish Sodhi, and Lockie Ferguson were all dismissed for one run each, while Tim Southee remained unbeaten on 4. Shaheen Shah Afridi delivered the final blow as he bowled Ferguson in the 18th over to seal Pakistan’s win.

Pakistan’s bowling was superb, as they applied constant pressure and did not allow any partnerships to develop. Iftikhar Ahmed was the star of the match, as he took three wickets for 24 runs and also took two catches. Mohammad Nawaz was also impressed with two for 18 in four overs, while Shaheen Shah Afridi, Zaman Khan, and Usama Mir took one wicket each. Abbas Afridi bowled only one over but conceded only four runs.

Finn Allen was chosen the player of the series for his steady batting, while Iftikhar Ahmed was named the player of the match for his all-around performance. New Zealand won the series 4-1, but Pakistan ended it on a high note with a morale-boosting win.”