Pakistan has clinched another T20 International series as they beat New Zealand by six wickets in the second game of the three-match series. The team now holds a world record of winning 11 series consecutively and they also have never lost while chasing under the captaincy of Sarfraz Ahmad.
The performance against Australia and New Zealand is a massive morale booster for the limited overs side of Pakistan following the horrendous display in Asia Cup.
Losing the toss and bowling first, Pakistan struggled initially due to the blistering strikes of Kiwi opener Colin Munro but recovered later after the brilliant spell of bowling by spinners to restrict New Zealand from planning a grand total.
The trio of Imad, Shadab, Hafeez didn’t allow batsmen to settle their feet on the crease in the middle overs. Corey Anderson kept ticking in the death overs to provide assistance to the side’s plans of reaching a respectable score.
In the meantime, Shaheen Khan Afridi secured his best bowling figures after he took three wickets, conceding only 20 runs in four overs.
New Zealand set the target of 154 runs for Pakistan which was a difficult total to achieve considering the batting chaos of the men in green while chasing and slow nature of the pitch of Dubai.
Pakistani openers Fakhar Zaman and Babar Azam initiated the second innings brilliantly, constantly hit between the gaps, to grab significant boundaries during the run-chase. Babar Azam tried his best to keep the flow of runs going but was dismissed for 40 runs after he tried to strike the ball hard to release the pressure.
The middle-order batsmen, Asif Ali and Mohammad Hafeez, took advantage of the built platform, kept the rhythm and smashed the bowlers in between the overs to maintain the run-rate.
Mohammad Hafeez played a beautiful looking blazing knock in the death overs to make sure the victory of Pakistan. Shoaib Malik also played a little cameo, in the end, to contribute handful amount of runs for his team.
The fourth delivery of the last over saw Mohammad Hafeez striking the ball gracefully over covers for four that finished the game for Pakistan in style. He remained unbeaten on 34 runs and his last shot guided Pakistan to their 8th consecutive T20 win.
The performance also helped Pakistan to get their 10th victory on the trot while chasing.
Shaheen Khan Afridi was declared man-of-the-match subsequent to his terrific bowling figures of 4-0-20-3.
Pakistan would be looking to whitewash New Zealand in the three-match T20 International series and New Zealand would be focusing on avoiding the clean-sweep on Sunday so they could commence the ODI series, which is scheduled to begin on November 7 in Abu Dhabi, with high morale.