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Four-wicket Shaheen helps Pakistan square T20 series against New Zealand

By News Desk

April 27, 2024 07:09 PM


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Pacer Shaheen Afridi took four wickets to help Pakistan overcome a spirited challenge from New Zealand and win the last T20I to square the series 2-2 at Lahore's Gaddafi Stadium.

The match mostly remained in New Zealand's favour in their chase of the 179 runs target as a 33-ball 52 of Tim Seifert set the tone of the Kiwis' chase. The visitors were cruising towards their target before Usama Mir bowled out Seifert in the ninth over and then removed Mark Chapman in the 11th over to make it 97-3. Shadab sent back captain Michael Bracewell back to the pavilion as New Zealand were reduced to 97-4. Imad Wasim made it 105-5 when he trapped  Cole McConchie in front of the wicket. James Neesham played an eight-ball 16 runs cameo before Shaheen hit back with back-to-back wickets to finish the match with figures of 4-30.

Josh Clarkson kept the visitors into the game but lost support from the other end as two run outs in the last over left him stranded on the crease. He remained unbeaten for his 38 runs of 26 balls as New Zealand were all out for 169 in 19.3 over to hand over hosts a 9 runs victory. 

Pakistan captain Babar Azam Saturday hit a half-century as Pakistan posted 178/5 in the final T20I of the series against New Zealand.

The Men in Green will have to defend a 179-run target in order to level the series. If New Zealand chase this down, they will win the five-match series 3-1.

The hosts had a disappointing start with Saim Ayub only making 1. He was dismissed in the William O’Rourke in the second over.

Usman Khan joined captain Babar Azam and the pair recovered well by scoring quickly. Usman, playing his fourth T20, made 31 off 24 balls with the help of four boundaries.

Meanwhile, Babar looked solid tonight with his strokes. The 29-year-old registered his 34th fifty in T20Is and also claimed the record for most fours in the history of the format.

Babar has now 409 fours in 108 innings, which took him above Ireland’s Paul Stirling who hit 407 fours in 136 innings.

His innings was cut short by Ben Sears on 69 off 44 balls. He smacked six fours and two maximums at a strike rate of 129.16.

On the other hand, Fakhar Zaman took charge in the second half of the innings and continued his form from the last game.

He finished on 43 off 33 balls which included five boundaries.

Shadab Khan played a 15-run cameo off just five balls which pushed Pakistan's total to 170+.

Toss

New Zealand captain Michael Bracewell Saturday won the toss and invited Pakistan to bat first in the last match of the five-match T20I series at Gaddafi Stadium Lahore.

The visitors are leading the series 2-1 and are gunning for a series victory while Pakistan are eager to square the series by winning the last match to end the series on a positive note.

Babar Azam was happy with Bracewell’s decision as he said Pakistan also wanted to bat first and put runs on the board.

He said the pitch looks good so they are looking to post 18-190 which is a par score.

Babar said middle overs are very crucial and they have discussed that.

“We made only one change, Zaman is not playing and Shaheen is back. We tried different combinations in every game, sometimes we started with spinners, sometimes with fast bowlers, and want to see where we stood. We are hopeful to win this match,” he added.

New Zealand have made three changes for the last match as Tim Seifert, Cole McConchie and Zakary Foulkes are back in the side.

Squads:

New Zealand: Michael Bracewell (c), Tom Blundell, Mark Chapman, Josh Clarkson, Zak Foulkes, Cole McConchie, James Neesham, Will O'Rourke, Ben Sears, Tim Seifert, Ish Sodhi

Pakistan: Babar Azam (c), Saim Ayub, Usman Khan (wk), Fakhar Zaman, Iftikhar Ahmed, Shadab Khan, Imad Wasim, Shaheen Afridi, Usama Mir, Abbas Afridi, Mohammad Amir

 


News Desk


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