3rd T20I - Pakistan pull one back in style against New Zealand at McLean Park
Pakistan pulled off an impressive 4 wicket win against New Zealand, in the third and final T20I of the series today, at McLean Park, Napier, despite a slight wobble towards the end when Tim Southee took 2 wickets in 2 balls in the 19th over and Rizwan was out in the 20th over for 89.
New Zealand 173/7 (20)
New Zealand Fall of Wickets: 1-40 (Martin Guptill - 4.3 ov), 2-45 (Kane Williamson - 5.3 ov), 3-58 (Tim Seifert - 7.2 ov), 4-109 (Glenn Phillips - 14.1 ov), 5-128 (Jimmy Neesham - 16.2 ov), 6-159 (Scott Kuggeleijn - 18.3 ov), 7-169 (Devon Conway - 19.3 ov)
Pakistan 177/4 (19.4)
Pakistan Fall of Wickets:1-40 (Haider Ali - 5.2 ov), 2-112 (Mohammad Hafeez - 13.3 ov), 3-141 (Khushdil Shah - 16.2 ov), 4-163 (Faheem Ashraf - 18.1 ov), 5-163 (Shadab Khan - 18.2 ov), 6-171 (Mohammad Rizwan - 19.2 ov)
Result - Pakistan won by 4 wickets
A six and a win ?? ?? ??— ICC (@ICC) December 22, 2020
Iftikhar Ahmed pulls a short ball from Kyle Jamieson for a six and Pakistan seal a tense four-wicket win!
How good was that run-chase? pic.twitter.com/SZ6ycJNfjf
Match Report – Salim Parvez - Rizwan stars in a close finish
A six in the final over by Iftikhar Ahmed, with only two balls to spare, sealed a narrow win and brought a sigh of relief for Pakistan, in the final T20I night match against New Zealand at Napier. Given the amount of criticism wicket-keeper Mohammad Rizwan has faced lately, in both electronic and social media, it was refreshing to see him play a match-winning hand, as an opener, on his way to a career-best T20I- 89 off 59 balls.
Pakistan team management, keen to finish the series on a high, took the option to bowl first. New Zealand openers were quickly in their stride and 40-0 after 4.2 overs was looking ominous. It needed some smart bowling by the seam attack, combined with change of fortune, to pull back from that point. By claiming the two big wickets – Kane Williamson and Tim Seifert - Faheem Ashraf provided considerable relief to his side. Seifert has caused considerable stress to the Pakistan team in the present series and had already hit three sixes in his 35 off 20 balls.
New Zealand 58-3 on a pitch that was a touch slower to the previous two matches, could not go all guns blazing. Both Devon Conway (63 off 45 balls, 7 fours, 1 six) and Glenn Phillips (31 off 20balls) realised that and their 4th-wicket stand worth 51 runs was more calculated than relying on brute force. The hosts 120-4 after 15 overs, were on their way to ending around 180.
It must be said, although he remained wicket-less, Mohammad Hasnain, who replaced Wahab Riaz, one of three changes in the playing eleven, was both rapid and accurate with excellent T20I figures of 4-0-29-0. Determined to help his team to a consolation win, Faheem was the best amongst the tourists with 4-0-20-3. In the 18th over, that brought New Zealand 16 runs, Conway glanced Haris Rauf over square leg for a six to reach his fifty off 39 balls. His timely contribution, held the innings together, for his side to end with 173-7 off 20 overs.
Pakistan openers –Rizwan and Haider Ali - walked out at 9pm local time, with an aim to have a strong impact in the six-over powerplay, against Trent Boult and Tim Southee, two leading T20I bowlers in the world. The score 47-1 off the 6 overs was a good start with Rizwan leading the run chase, though without too much rotation of strike.
The in-form Mohammad Hafeez, got off the mark with a six over mid-wicket and soon the fifty of the innings arrived in 6.3 overs. At the half way mark Pakistan 77-1, was on the right track and both Rizwan and Hafeez, sailing along nicely. Their 50-run stand came off 38 balls and Rizwan needed 40 balls to bring up his maiden T20I fifty and was happy to give strike to his senior partner, who was racing along to put Pakistan in a driving seat.
Hafeez’s exit in the 14th over, with 41 off 29balls, including three sixes to his name left the game in balance and pressure on the lower order. Pakistan needed 54 off last 5 overs and Rizwan held the key now. The first of his three sixes didn’t arrive till the 14th over. His two fours in the 18th over off Boult were somewhat negated with the loss of three quick wickets and though Rizwan was dismissed in the final over, his innings with 10 fours and 3 sixes was a near enough perfect innings in this format and deservedly won him the Player of the Match award.
New Zealand - Martin Guptill, Tim Seifert(wk), Kane Williamson(c), Devon Conway, Glenn Phillips, Jimmy Neesham, Scott Kuggeleijn, Kyle Jamieson, Tim Southee, Ish Sodhi, Trent Boult
Pakistan - Mohammad Rizwan(wk), Haider Ali, Shadab Khan(c), Mohammad Hafeez, Hussain Talat, Iftikhar Ahmed, Khushdil Shah, Faheem Ashraf, Haris Rauf, Shaheen Afridi, Mohammad Hasnain
Start Time: 06:00
Toss: Pakistan won the toss and decided to field
Venue: McLean Park, Napier
Officials: Christopher Brown, Wayne Knights, Shaun Haig, Ashley Mehrotra, Jeffrey Crowe
© Cricket World 2020