CHRISTCHURCH: Mohammad Nawaz and Haider Ali put things right in order for Pakistan as they chased down 164 runs against New Zealand to win T20I tri-nation series here today.
After being under pressure followed by Mohammad Rizwan’s wicket in 12th over, Pakistan were lifted up by the new batting pair of Nawaz and Haider.
Pakistan had scored 74-2 in 11.2 overs with required run rate going over 10 when Rizwan fell to Ish Sodhi who then conceded 25 runs from Haider and Nawaz to finish with 58 runs in his four overs.
Babar Azam’s slowish 14-balls 15 runs knock came to an end after he miscued length ball and missed slog sweep to give a simple catch.
Shan Masood and Rizwan scored run-a-ball 35 runs together but their strike-rate haunted Pakistan while chasing. With eyes on increasing the required run-rate, Shan failed to clear point region in 11th over. He scored 19 off 21 balls at a strike rate of 90.47.
Haider and Nawaz proved to be saviors for Pakistan as they scored 56 off 26 balls to help Pakistan get back on the chasing track. The powerful partnership saw five boundaries and as many maximums.
Haider walked off after scoring 31 off 15 balls including two boundaries and three sixes but Nawaz kept on going. Nawaz also partnered with Iftikhar Ahmed to score 36 off 20 balls to finish the chase successfully in 19.3 overs. Nawaz remained not out for 38 whereas Iftikar remained not out for 25 runs.
Michael Bracewell took two wickets while Tim Southee, Blair Tickner and Ish Sodhi bagged a wicket each.
New Zealand’s captain Kane Williamson played a crucial role for the hosts who were struggling at one stage after being sent into bat first by Pakistan in the T20I tri-series final.
Naseem Shah provided a perfect start to Pakistan by bagging opener Finn Allen in his first over. The young fast bowler continues to take wickets in his first over in T20Is.
Allen misjudged length of the ball to give a straight catch at covers.
A brief 35-runs partnership between opener Devon Conway and Williamson did save New Zealand from a major collapse as they scored 163-7. But, Haris Rauf, who is playing his 50th T20I, was quick enough to take his wicket in last over of the powerplay.
Williamson stood firm and made use of his home conditions to score 59 runs off 38 balls at a strike rate of 155.26. He struck four boundaries and two sixes.
Williamson’s partner Glenn Phillips (29) also played an important role as they both scored 50 off 37 balls third wicket partnership. Mark Chapman, who scored (25), partnered with the captain to score 37 off 26 balls.
Naseem and Haris bagged two wickets each while Shadab Khan and Mohammad Nawaz shared a wicket apiece for Pakistan.
Pakistan have won the toss and decided to field first against New Zealand in T20I tri-series final.
Experienced fast bowler Haris Rauf returned to Pakistan XI for the final. He replaced Mohammad Hasnain who played in dead rubber against Bangladesh on Thursday.
Pakistan: Babar Azam (c), Mohammad Rizwan, Shan Masood, Iftikhar Ahmed, Shadab Khan, Haider Ali, Asif Ali, Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammad Wasim, Naseem Shah, Haris Rauf
New Zealand: Kane Williamson (c), Finn Allen, Devon Conway, Glenn Phillips, Mark Chapman, James Neesham, Michael Bracewell, Ish Sodhi, Tim Southee, Trent Boult, Blair Tickner