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New Zealand skipper Tim Southee, Aditya Ashcok, Jim Seifert, Ben Lister celebrate after winning the third T20I against UAE at Dubai International Stadium on Sunday. Image Credit: AFP

Dubai: New Zealand captain Tim Southee is happy with the tough challenge his team faced in the UAE before eking out a 2-1 series victory on Sunday.

The tourists, missing several frontline players, escaped to victory in the opener but were stunned in the second T20 match with UAE registering their first win against New Zealand in any format.

Improved display

New Zealand put up an improved display in Sunday’s decider when Will Young smashed 56 in his first match of the series and Mark Chapman made 51 to help them post 166-5.

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Will Young produced a blistering knock to propel New Zealand to a winning target against UAE. Image Credit: AFP

The hosts managed 134-7, with Ben Lister claiming 3-35 for New Zealand in what Southee called their “best performance of the series”.

“We expected a tough challenge in these conditions,” Southee said referring to the heat after they prevailed by 32 runs at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium.

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UAE all-rounder Basil Hameed celebrates with teammates after dismissing Tim Seifert in the final Twenty20 on Sunday. Image Credit: AFP

UAE played extremely well

“As I said at the start of the series, they’re a growing side, they’re ever-improving and we saw that throughout the series they played extremely well in those first two games.

“We were able to build a partnership there with Chapman and Will Young someone who came in after the first two games so that was pleasing.”

New Zealand will travel to England later this month to play four T20 and as many One-Day Internationals before heading to India for the ODI World Cup in October-November.