NZ stun Pak to keep series alive

NZ stun Pak to keep series alive

Sports Desk

Put into bat first, Pakistan racked up 178/4 in the allotted 20 overs, courtesy of a blistering cameo at the backend by Shadab.

RAWALPINDI: Mark Chapman’s swashbuckling half-century powered New Zealand to beat Pakistan by seven wickets in the third T20I of the five-match series here at Pindi Cricket Stadium on Sunday.

Earlier, openers Babar Azam and Saim Ayub scripted a solid start for the home side, notching up 54 runs in the batting powerplay.

Saim, who was the core aggressor of the opening stand, fell victim to Ish Sodhi after a brisk knock.

He smashed five boundaries and a six on his way to a 22-ball 32.

His dismissal halted the flow of runs for Pakistan as only 30 runs came off the next overs.

The dire need to accelerate took a toll on Babar as he too, fell victim to Sodhi, in an attempt to play a big shot.

He scored 37 off 29 deliveries with the help of four boundaries and a six.

Pakistan then lost two more batters Mohammad Rizwan — retired hurt — and Usman Khan in quick succession, resulting in them slipping to 103/3 in 12.5 Overs.

But a sensational partnership between Muhammad Irfan Khan Niazi and Shadab Khan bolstered the team’s total.

The duo added 62 off 34 deliveries before Shadab perished in the penultimate over.

He remained the top-scorer for Pakistan with a quickfire 41 off 20 deliveries which featured four boundaries and two sixes.

Meanwhile, Irfan stood his ground firm and carried his bat all the way through with an unbeaten 30 off 20 deliveries.

Sodhi led the bowling charge for New Zealand with two wickets while Duffy and Michael Bracewell made one scalp each.