CHRISTCHURCH: Pakistan skipper Babar Azam and bowlers guided Pakistan to a six-wicket victory over New Zealand in their tri-nation series clash here at the Hagley Oval on Saturday.
New Zealand won the toss and opted to bat first, which the Pakistan bowlers took advantage of and restricted the Kiwis to 148 runs before chasing down the target in 18.2 overs.
Babar showed his true class to lead Pakistan to victory, as he smashed 79 runs in 54 balls, including 11 boundaries.
Shadab Khan’s promotion up the batting-order turned out in favour of the Green Shirts. The all-rounder gathered 34 runs in 24 balls.
Mohammad Nawaz scored 16 runs, while Haider Ali smashed a maximum and a four to score the winning runs for Pakistan.
For the Kiwis, Blair Tickner claimed two wickets, while Trent Boult and Tim Southee secured a scalp each.
Earlier, Pakistani bowlers put on a sensational performance to restrict New Zealand to 148 runs in 20 overs.
Haris Rauf was excellent for his side as he claimed three wickets, including wicket of dangerous Mark Chapman and gave away only 28 runs in four overs.
Chapman scored a blistering 32 runs in 16 balls before getting out to Rauf.
Meanwhile, skipper Kane Williamson bagged 31 runs and Devon Conway gathered 36 runs.
Mohammad Wasim Jr was yet again at his best, claiming two wickets at the expense of 20 runs, while Mohammad Nawaz also secured two scalps.
Pakistan, on Friday, beat Bangladesh by 21 runs to register their win in the series opener, thanks to Mohammad Rizwan’s sensational 50-ball 78 and an exceptional display of skill and talent by the bowlers.
Pakistan: Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Babar Azam (c), Shan Masood, Haider Ali, Iftikhar Ahmed, Asif Ali, Mohammad Nawaz, Shadab Khan, Mohammad Wasim Jr, Haris Rauf, Shahnawaz Dahani
New Zealand: Martin Guptill, Finn Allen, Kane Williamson (c), Glenn Phillips, Mark Chapman, Devon Conway (wk), James Neesham, Ish Sodhi, Trent Boult, Michael Bracewell, Blair Tickner