Monday, April 24, 2023
New Zealand secured a remarkable win to level the five-match T20 series against Pakistan on the back of an amazing hundred by left-hand batter Mark Chapman at the Pindi Cricket Stadium in Rawalpindi on Monday.
The Kiwis emerged victorious in 19.2 overs while chasing a target of 194 runs. The series was levelled 2-2.
The Blackcaps got off to a terrible start as they lost two wickets in Shaheen Afridi's first over. Kiwi skipper Tom Latham (0) and Will Young (4) was dismissed in the first over of the innings.
Pakistan bagged two more wickets courtesy of Imad Wasim, who dismissed Chad Bowes (19) and Daryl Mitchell (15) before the end of the 10th over. The Kiwis, at the end of 10 overs, were left in a difficult position at 73-4 with the required run-rate climbing.
However, after that, Jimmy Neesham and Chapman took charge and deposited the Pakistan bowlers at every corner of the ground possible. The two left-handers stitched a match-winning partnership to get their side over the line. The duo added 121 runs in only 58 balls while smacking the Pakistan bowlers to all parts of the ground.
Chapman remained unbeaten on 104 runs in 57 balls with the help of 11 fours and four sixes. Neesham scored 45 runs in 25 balls, which included four fours and two maximums.
Earlier, after being asked to bat first, Pakistan posted 193-5 in their allotted 20 overs.
Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan provided Pakistan with a solid start after adding 51 runs in 34 balls for the first wicket.
However, Pakistan lost three wickets while adding just one run with Azam (19), Mohammad Haris (0) and Saim Ayub (0) going back to the hut in the space of five balls.
With Pakistan on the back foot, Rizwan and Iftikhar Ahmed stitched a crucial partnership of 71 runs in 46 balls to put their side back on track for a competitive total on the board.
After Iftikhar’s departure, who scored 36 runs in 22 balls, Imad Wasim came out all guns blazing and played a superb cameo of 31 runs in 14 balls. His knock included five fours and a six.
Rizwan was unlucky not to score the second T20I hundred of his career as he remained unbeaten on 98 runs in 62 balls. His innings included seven fours and four sixes.
Blair Tickner was the pick of the bowlers for New Zealand with figures of 3-33 in four overs.
The home side made two changes with Ihsanullah and Mohammad Haris replacing Fakhar Zaman and Zaman Khan in the lineup.
New Zealand also made two changes with James Neesham and Blair Tickner replacing Matt Henry and Cole McConchie.
The Babar Azam-led unit registered victories in the first two matches. However, New Zealand bounced back to win the third T20I but the fourth T20I was washed out due to rain in Rawalpindi.
It must be noted that eight Kiwis are missing because of the Indian Premier League (IPL) and skipper Kane Williamson has a bad knee injury, leaving the captaincy to batsman Tom Latham — and providing plenty of opportunity for newcomers to shine.
Pakistan and New Zealand will also meet in five one-day internationals after the five-match T20 series, honing preparations for this year´s 50-over World Cup in India.
The tour comes as something of compensation for New Zealand pulling out of their visit to Pakistan on the day of the first game in September 2021, citing security concerns.
The Black Caps played two Tests and three ODIs in Pakistan just three months ago.
Pakistan: Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Babar Azam (c), Mohammad Haris, Saim Ayub, Shadab Khan, Iftikhar Ahmed, Imad Wasim, Faheem Ashraf, Shaheen Afridi, Haris Rauf, Ihsanullah
New Zealand: Tom Latham(wk/c), Chad Bowes, Will Young, Daryl Mitchell, Mark Chapman, James Neesham, Rachin Ravindra, Adam Milne, Henry Shipley, Ish Sodhi, Blair Tickner