Dubai: Pakistan recorded their 11th T20 series win by defeating New Zealand by six wickets and take an unbeatable 2-0 lead in the three match series at the Dubai International Stadium. It was Pakistan’s eighth consecutive T20 match win after having inflicted a 3-0 clean sweep win over Australia.
Cheered by a Friday crowd, Pakistan raced past New Zealand’s total of 153 for 7 with two balls to spare. After a 40 runs opening partnership between Fakhar Zaman(24) and Babar Azam (40), Asif Ali (38) and Azam added another 56 runs between them. In the end Mohammad Hafeez (34n.o), added 31 runs in three overs with Shoaib Malek’s (10) to record another series win.
New Zealand won the toss and elected to bat. Glenn Phillips and Colin Munro began smoothly. In the first over from Imad Wasm they scored 13 runs and in the second over from Faheem Ashraf they scored nine runs. Mohammad Hafeez, who bowled the third over, bowled tighter and gave just seven runs. In the fourth over from Ashraf, Munro hit a six over mid-off and the next ball he lofted to Hafeez at long on, who dropped the easy catch. Munro on 32 thus got a lucky escape.
Hasan Ali was introduced for the fifth over but could not break the partnership. The openers put on 50 runs in 5.3 overs with Munro scoring 43 of those runs with Phillips contribution being just five runs. Shaheen Afridi ended the 50 runs partnership by picking the wicket of Phillips by forcing him to edge to wicketkeeper Safraz Ahmad with the first ball of sixth over.
Munro too followed at his score on 44, stumped by Sarfraz off Hafeez in the seventh over. Colin de Grandhomme joined his skipper Kane Williamson. Pakistan introduced leg spinner Shadab Khan for the 10th over and he struck with the fourth ball of that over to dismiss Grandhomme, who hit to Shoaib Malek at long-on for 4.
At the half way mark, New Zealand were 68 for 3. To make matters easy for Pakistan, Ross Taylor got run out for 3 while going for a second run which was not there and Asif Ali from deep mid-wicket threw accurately to bowler Shadab . Corey Anderson joined Willamson and steered New Zealand past the 100 run mark by the 15th over. Anderson hit Hasan for a powerful six to long-on and followed it up with two successive boundaries in the 17th over.
Afridi ended the 42 runs partnership in 4.3 overs by taking the wicket of Williamson (37), who flicked to Fakhar Zaman at deep backward square leg. Anderson hit his second sixby swinging Hasan powerfully.
Tim Seifert mishit Afridi for a six off the first ball of the 20th over and lifted the next delivery to Shadab at long on for 11. Tim Southee got run out for a duck. Anderson steered New Zealand past the 150 run mark.
Chasing the total, Pakistan openers Zaman and Azam gave a quick start by putting on 40 runs in 4.4 overs. Zaman on 24 played into the hands of Williamson at mid-off off Adam Milne. Asif Ali joined Babar Azam, who kept the score board moving with timely shots. At the half way mark, Pakistan were 75 for 1 needing another 79 runs.
Ali hit Southee over deep mid-wicket for a six to record his 50 runs partnership with Azam. Azam, who looked set for a half century, got caught at mid-off by Lockie Ferguson off Southee. It ended the 56 runs partnership in 8.2 overs. The experienced Mohammad Hafeez joined Ali.
In the last five overs, Pakistan needed 50 runs to win. Ali missed a full toss from Munro to be trapped leg before for 38 when Pakistan needed 40 more runs in 24 balls. In the 17th over Hafeez hit Ish Sodhi’s first ball for a six over deep mid-wicket and also the third ball over long on for another six to take 17 runs off that over. It placed Pakistan in a comfortable position to win the match.
Pakistan bt New Zealand by six wickets, New Zealand 153 for 7 in 20 overs (Colin Munro 44, Kane Williamson 37, Corey Anderson 44n.o, Shaheen Afridi 3 for 20) Pakistan 154 for 4 in 19.4 overs (Fakhar Zaman 24, Babar Azam 40, Asif Ali 38, Mohammad Hafeez 34n.o, Adam Milne 2 for 25).