Pakistan have added another T20I series to their kitty after they defeated New Zealand in the second match of the three match T20I series by 6 wickets at the Dubai International Stadium, Dubai to take a 2-0 lead.
Kiwi skipper Kane Williamson won the toss and elected to bat first. Fakhar Zaman made his return to the Pakistan team, while the visitors named an unchanged playing XI that played in the first match.
Colin Munro started the New Zealand innings in great fashion. He mustered a six of Imad Wasim in the very first ball of the innings. Munro carried his impressive work from the first match and looked to be aggressive. The visitors were able to accumulate 47 runs in the first five overs as a result of Munro’s power hitting. But Shaheen Afridi was able to break the 50 run stand when he dismissed Glenn Phillips. It was double delight for Sarfraz Ahmed when Mohammad Hafeez provided the second breakthrough in the form of Munro. The southpaw missed his half century by six runs.
As was the problem for the Kiwis in the first T201, the middle order couldn’t live up to the expectations. Colin De Grandhomme and Ross Taylor were quickly sent back to the hut as they were reduced to 83-4 in the 13th over. Kane Williamson and Corey Anderson looked to consolidate the batting innings for the visitors. Anderson finally connected properly as he hit 16 runs from one over of Hasan Ali. Williamson departed for 37 in the 18th over. Anderson smashed a few in the back end of the innings as his 25 ball 44 helped New Zealand to reach a respectable total of 153 runs in their innings.
Pakistan had a lightening fast start to their batting innings, thanks to Fakhar Zaman. He hit 2 fours and a six for his 24 before a blinder from Williamson brought his demise in the fifth over. Asif Ali was sent up in the batting order to counter attack the Kiwi bowling. Babar Azam on the other hand paced the innings properly and played the role of an anchor. The duo added 56 runs for the second wicket. A tame shot from Azam gifted Tim Southee with his first wicket of the innings as the scorecard read 96-2 in the 13th over.
Few tight overs had put the hosts on the back foot. And when Munro dismissed Asif Ali, Pakistan were in a precarious sutuation with 50 runs need from the last 5 overs. But the ever reliable Mohammad Hafeez didn’t let his shoulders fall. He smashed 17 runs of Ish Sodhi in the 17th over to put the tie back into their favour. Shoaib Malik too chipped in with a six in the next over to almost seal the deal. With 7 runs to defend in the last over, Adam Milne was provided a tough task to restrict the batting side. Despite him picking up Malik on the second delivery of the over, Hafeez made sure Pakistan reached the target with 2 balls remaining.
This is now the 10th successful chase for Pakistan in the T20 format under the captaincy of Sarfraz Ahmed. Another series victory keeps their position at the top of the T20I team rankings. Erstwhile for New Zealand this is another chance missed. They came close but bottled it up in the crucial moments yet again.
New Zealand: 153-7 (20 o.)
Corey Anderson: 44* (25)
Colin Munro: 44 (28)
Shaheen Afridi: 4-0-23-3.
Pakistan: 154-4 (19.4 o.)
Babar Azam: 40 (41)
Asif Ali: 38 (34)
Adam Milne: 2.4-0-25-2.
Man of The Match: Shaheen Afridi.