Pakistan were guided to a 4-wicket victory by Mohammad Rizwan 89 in the 3rd T20I, in Napier, as New Zealand take 3-match series by 2-1.
Pakistan T20I cricket team celebrate a wicket. (AP Photo)
- Mohammad Rizwan 89 was the match-winning knock for Pakistan
- Hosts New Zealand have won the 3-match T20I series 2-1
- The teams will now be involved in a 2-match Test series starting on Dec 26
Visiting team Pakistan have sealed a win in the 3rd T20I, too little too late, as New Zealand take the series 2-1. Mohammad Rizwan’s 89 was instrumental in Pakistan’s 4-wicket win, off the final over, in Napier on Tuesday, December 22.
Pakistan had lost the series as New Zealand crushed the visiting side in the 2nd T20I, on Sunday, despite Mohammad Hafeez’s unbeaten 99 in the first innings. The 40-year-old Pakistan batsman once again rose to the occasion, in the 3rd T20I, and scored a 29-ball 41 while chasing 174 at McLean Park.
Pakistan’s captain for the T20I series, Shadab Khan, won the toss in the 3rd T20I and elected to field first. Pacers Haris Rauf and Faheem Ashraf were able to remove opener Martin Guptill (19 off 16) and captain Kane Williamson (1 off 4) within the Powerplay overs. The 51-run 4th wicket partnership between Devon Conway (63 off 45) and Glenn Phillips (31 off 20) helped New Zealand accelerate in the middle overs. With a late show from tailender Scott Kuggelejin (14 off 6), New Zealand were able to post 173/7 off their 20 overs.
Chasing a target of 174, in the T20I series wrap up, Pakistan enjoyed a 72-run 2nd wicket partnership after opener Haider Ali (11 off 9) fell in the 6th over of their innings. The 2nd wicket stand between Mohammad Hafeez and Mohammad Rizwan turned out to be match-defining and the latter stayed on till the final over to take Pakistan to a winning position. Rizwan (89) fell in the 20th over with 4 remaining off 4 balls. Ifthikar Ahmed, with 3 off 3 remaining for Pakistan, hit a six off Kyle Jamieson to seal the 4-wicket win against New Zealand.
“This win is good, we lost the series, but this game was important ahead of the Tests, wanted to take some momentum going into it. Big honour for me to captain Pakistan, it’s a big deal to play the country, can’t express my happiness at being [Test] captain,” Man of the Match Rizwan, who has been named the captain in the 1st Test in the absence of Babar Azam, said after the game.