Yet another series win under the leadership of Sarfraz Ahmed, it is their eleventh consecutive Twenty20 International series win, which a world record now. This six wickets win gave Pakistan 2-0 up in the series now. Babar, Hafeez and Asif Ali were amongst the runs. While Shaheen with the bowling figure of 3 for 20 was awarded player of the match.
Sarfraz Ahmed lost the toss for the first time in 5 previous games. New Zealand captain Williamson decided to put the score on the board, Munro and Philips came to open the innings for them. It was a lone Munro show; both put 50 runs partnership in which Philips had contributed 5 runs on 12 balls he faced. Munro continued his blistering knock and showed his ability to hit boundaries, but soon after the dismissal of Philips he also departs when team’s score was 57, was stumped on 44 on the bowling of Hafeez. Kiwis lose two more wickets in quick succession of de Grandhomme and Taylor. New Zealand did manage to get to 153 for seven from their 20 overs, though, thanks to an exceptional hand by Corey Anderson in the twilight overs. The muscular left-hander hit two sixes and four boundaries in a 25-ball innings worth 44.
In reply, Pakistan off to a quick start as Fakhar and Babar took on the charge from the very first over of the run-chase, Fakhar’s quick 24 in 40 runs partnership laid a strong foundation for the win of Pakistan. Babar Azam continued his same mantra of playing at top order to anchor the Pakistani innings along-with other power hitters. Asif Ali once again failed to left his impact of power hitting, played 38 off 34 balls inning, which almost cost Pakistan a game. Thanks to Hafeez and Malik’s quick runs at the dying end of the game crossed Pakistan over the line. Especially it was Mohammad Hafeez’s 34 off 21 who had been the catalyst to another game and series win for Pakistan. Adam Milne once again picked up two Pakistani wickets remained a notable performer for New Zealand.
Player of the Match: During the first innings he (Shaheen) bowled brilliantly and awarded as a player of the match.
Shaheen Afridi: “I am trying to perform for Pakistan in every game. Our coaching staff has helped me a lot, especially, Azhar Mahmood. I feel I am bowling my yorkers better of late. I figure out the weak zones of a batsman and bowl
accordingly. I do what is asked of me. I would be happy to serve Pakistan for a long time.”
New Zealand 153 for 7 in 20.0 overs (Colin Munro 44, Corey Anderson 44*; Shaheen Afridi 20/3, Mohammad Hafeez 12/1)
Pakistan 154 for 4 in 19.4 overs (Babar Azam 40, Mohammad Hafeez 34*; Adam Milne 25/2, Colin Munro 22/1)
Next Encounter: Third T20 International at Dubai on 4nd November 2018.
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