About the Match
New Zealand defeated Pakistan by 10 wickets in the second T20 match after posting a record opening stand and have drawn level with the visitors; the upcoming 3rd T20 match at Wellington on 22nd January will be the decider of the series and we are surely going to see some more fireworks across the park on Friday. While Pakistan had the upper hand by winning the first match of the series, they couldn’t defend 169 runs against the smashing Kiwi openers and will come back stronger here. On the other hand, the Kiwis displayed their supremacy on the field and will try to continue with their winning momentum to take the series.
Martin Guptill and Kane Williamson posted a record stand of 171 runs, the highest partnership in T20s, to chase down the 169-run target against Pakistan within 18 overs and draw level with a win. While Guptill smashed a brilliant 87 off 58 balls, Williamson scored a superb 72 off 48 deliveries; the in-form batsmen look good to continue with their hard-hitting skills in the upcoming match.
Earlier, the bowlers picked up wickets consistently with McClenaghan taking 2 scalps and Milne, Santner, Anderson and Elliott picking up a wicket each to restrict the opposition. Astle wasn’t successful with the ball and will need to do better to make an impact. In the earlier match, they had failed to chase 172 runs as the middle order collapsed without a fight. Despite Williamson’s 70 off 60 balls and Munro contributing with a well-made half-century, they were all-out for 155 runs.
Milne and McClenaghan are in good form with the ball and along with Santner’s spin bowling tactics, they definitely can pose a stiff challenge to the Pakistani batsmen; it was a tremendous performance winning the match without losing a wicket and they will definitely come out all guns blazing here.
Umar Akmal’s unbeaten 56 off 27 deliveries and Shoaib Malik’s well-made 39 helped them post a respectable total of 168 runs in the second match; however, neither the spinners nor the speedsters had any tricks up their sleeves against the opening partnership of Guptill and Williamson, who belted out sixes and fours at will to win the match.
In the first T20, the bowlers had put up a stupendous attack to stifle the Kiwi batsmen and defend 171 runs with ease; the combined pace attack by Wahab Riaz and Mohammad Amir had resulted in 4 wickets while the spinners gelled well to outwit the opponents and get them all-out. They will have to regroup and come up with a strategy to overcome the hosts on Friday.
Mohammad Hafeez’s brilliant 61 in the opening match shows promise for the top-order while Ahmed Shehzad, Sohaib Maqsood and others in the middle order must focus on stabilizing the innings whether batting first to during chase.
The Kiwis have a lot to cheer for with their scintillating victory to keep the series alive; their aggressive attitude puts them clearly in the driver’s seat. Although Pakistan will try to go back to its winning ways, we feel that New Zealand will yet again come out with a strong all-round performance to win the match and series.