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Pakistan outplay New Zealand to win series 2-1

Shadab Khan came up with a man of the match performance
Shadab Khan came up with a man of the match performance

Pakistan 181-6 (Zaman 46) beat
New Zealand 163-6 (Guptill 59) by 18 runs
Third Twenty20 International at Bay Oval

Pakistan came up with a complete all-round performance as they registered an 18-run victory in the third Twenty20 International against New Zealand at Bay Oval to claim the series 2-1.

Pakistan won the toss and decided to bat first. Ahmed Shehzad (19) and Fakhar Zaman (46) played attacking game to score 25 runs in the first three overs. Colin de Grandhomme (1-36) got the first breakthrough when he had Shehzad caught behind but Pakistan ended the powerplay with a score of 45 for one.

The introduction of Ish Sodhi (2-47) slowed things a bit and he further dented Pakistan's hope as he had Babar Azam (18) caught at point.

Sarfraz Ahmed (29) and Zaman continued to consolidate the innings but Haris Sohail (20 not out), Umar Amin (21) and Aamer Yamin (15 not out) provided the much needed late flourish as Pakistan scored 58 runs off the final overs to lift the score to 181 for six in the 20 overs.

New Zealand had a sedate start to the chase scoring just 32 runs off the first five overs despite a couple of sixes from Martin Guptill (59). Faheem Ashraf (1-55) managed to remove Williamson but Anaru Kitchen (16) and Guptill ended the powerplay with a score of 47 for one.

Shadab Khan (2-19) conceded just five runs in the first two overs as New Zealand were left with a daunting task of needing 117 runs off the final 10 overs. Despite heroics from Ross Taylor (25) and Mitchell Santner (24 not out), New Zealand could manage only 163 for six in the 20 overs.

The 18-run victory has helped Pakistan complete the tour with a 2-1 series victory.

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