Pakistan’s last laugh against New Zealand, wins decider match by 18 runs

 . Last updated on July 10, 2018, 11:36 AM
Pakistan’s last laugh against New Zealand, wins decider match by 18 runs
Shadab Khan, taking away the two crucial wickets of New Zealand, nicked the Player of the Match award.

New Zealand has been strong throughout the series against Pakistan, but by winning the final T20 of the three-match series, the latter managed to prove their form in the shortest format. Batting first, the team scored 181 runs for 6 wickets. The score was average, but their bowling attack was enough to slog the host in the chase. New Zealand scored 163 for 6 in the next inning handing over a victory of 18 runs to Pakistan. Although the chase was bettered by Martin Guptill scoring 59, it was not enough to beat the bests of Pakistan. Fakhar Zaman scored 46, less than Guptill, but the support down the line in the line-up was stronger than that of New Zealand.

In the match, New Zealand came up with a stronger and improved bowling attack. Compared to Auckland, the pitch and bowling emerged more tedious for Pakistan. They lost the first wicket in the fourth over, but opener Ahmed Shehzad and Zaman set the inning with a proper momentum. The opening stretch brought 30 runs where Shehzad added 19. Still, Zaman clang on to keep his wicket intact and inject the running momentum in the inning. Babar Azam was down in the ninth over as Ish Sodhi bowled a disciplined delivery. Zaman than paired up with Sarfraz Ahmed until the fourteenth over, hauling the score to 106 runs.

Zaman’s wicket was at bit controversial, but there was no much buzz about it as Pakistan was contended with what they had. However, when Sarfraz too was clipped away, the team faced a pressure. This was done away when Umar Amin hammered those three deliveries from Ish Sodhi for three big sixes in his 7-ball-21. Also, New Zealand seemed a bit sluggish on the field by the latter overs. In the last four overs Pakistan batsmen in the middle order thumped 58 runs.

In the second inning, New Zealand started solid with Martin Guptill beating at his best. Still, the required run rate wobbled as Kane Williamson and the rest could not offer a good advantage. Kane Williamson played 5 overs to score only 9 runs. The next wicket was down in the 13th over, but the chase was only lifted to 84 runs. In the over, New Zealand lost both Guptill and AK Kitchen, followed by Colin de Grandhomme in the next. The chase slogged at 89 for 4 wickets in the 14th over. In the final stretch, Ross Taylor made a contribution of 25 runs, but he could keep on the wicket intact for long. Mitchell Santner scored 24 remaining unbeaten as New Zealand played the last ball of disappointment.

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