About the Match
Pakistan ended a 13-match losing streak against New Zealand as they won the 2nd T20 match by a whopping 48 runs to keep the series alive; the two teams will now fight it out for the title on 28th January in the 3rd and final T20 at Mt. Maunganui. A superb batting effort by the visitors followed by a disciplined bowling performance took them to a big win on Thursday; now they will try to redeem themselves by winning the upcoming match and series, after having lost the ODI and tests. New Zealand which was on a cruise sailing right through to continuous victories, suffered a batting collapse and would like to bounce back with a win here on Sunday.
Chasing 202 in the 2nd T20, players like Kane Williamson and Colin Munro were outwitted by the Pakistani pace. Santner and Ben Wheeler tried to revive the innings by scoring 30+ runs each while Guptill was the lone fighter in the top order, posting 26 off 27; however, with no strong partnerships in the chase, the hosts were rendered all out for 153. Earlier, the bowlers also put up a dismal show as Santner went for 15 runs per over while in-form players Boult and Sodhi went wicket-less. Ben Wheeler took 2 wickets, but it hardly made a dent on the Pakistan batting line-up.
In the first T20, they restricted Pakistan to 105 all-out as pacers Southee and Seth Rance claimed 3 wickets each. Mitchell Santner used his spin skills to oust 2 opponents while Anaru Kitchen and Munro took a wicket each; the batsmen then chased down 106 with ease thanks to Munro’s well-made 49 and good contributions by Tom Bruce and Ross Taylor.
The shocking defeat in the 2nd T20 would motivate them to perform better in the upcoming match; they could prove to be a formidable force to reckon with to win the title.
Batting first in the 2nd match, Fakhar Zaman and Ahmed Shehzad posted a heroic 94-run opening stand to give the visitors a solid foundation. Babar Azam and captain Sarfraz Ahmed then continued with the good efforts, adding another 90+ runs to the scoreboard to take the total to 201. Zaman and Azam posted well-made half-centuries while Shehzad and Ahmed contributed with 40+ runs each.
Their sturdy batting performance helped Pakistan get the upper hand in the proceedings and then the bowlers came out with a stupendous effort to stifle the hosts at 153 all-out, winning it big by 48 runs. Medium-pacer Faheem Ashraf took 3-22 while spinner Shadab Khan took 2 wickets. Fast-bowler Mohammad Amir, Hasan Ali and Rumman Raees pitched in with 4 wickets between them, and they are in good form to repeat the winning performance yet again.
Previously, in the first match, they put up a dismal show as the top-order fell like a pack of cards. Babar Azam top-scored with 41 while Hasan Ali pitched in with 23 off 12; the bowlers had a tough task to defend the total and lost the match by 7 wickets. Their first victory of the tour has surely boosted the team’s morale and we could see a good fight for the title clash.
The series is now tied at 1-1, and it could be anybody’s game; while Pakistan has made a comeback with an all-round performance, we feel that the Kiwis still have the edge to win on Sunday