Chapman’s hammering helps NZ to level series against Pakistan

Naseem Shah let him off when he was 16 with stand-in wicketkeeper Usman Khan putting him down in the forties

By Abdul Mohi Shah
April 22, 2024
New Zealand batter Mark Chapman celebrating against Pakistan. — XBlackcaps/File

RAWALPINDI: Mark Chapman’s (87 not out) liking for the Pindi Stadium continues with a chancy innings that saw the new-look New Zealand team squaring up the T20 series (1-1) against Pakistan by chasing down 179 runs winning target with ease in front of a capacity crowd Sunday evening.


Put into bat first, Pakistan could only manage 178 for 4 with Chapman’s special, knocking down the target in the 19th over for the loss of just three wickets. Chapman, who aggregated 290 in last year’s five-match series in Pakistan, could not have expected a better helping hand from Pakistan fielders as he was dropped no less than three times.

Naseem Shah let him off when he was 16 with stand-in wicketkeeper Usman Khan putting him down in the forties. Ibrar Ahmad also floored a caught and bowled chance to make Pakistan pay. Chapman accumulated 23 runs in just one of Naseem Shah’s overs. He was also harsh on Shaheen Shah, hitting four sixes and nine fours in all during his 52-ball match-winning unbeaten innings.

“It is nice to be back here and start scoring again. 117 runs partnership with Dean Foxcroft (31) was enough to take the team home,” Chapman, said.

Abbas Afridi (2-27) was the most impressive of Pakistan bowlers, the rest looked ordinary on a surface that did not have enough for bowlers. “It is never easy to recover from drop catches, especially when we drop a player with the caliber of Chapman,” Pakistan captain Babar Azam, said.

Earlier, Pakistan got off to a brisk start after being put into bat first by New Zealand. Saim Ayub (32) who lost his wicket very early in the second T20, was seen striking the ball all around at the outset Sunday, smashing one six and five fours during his 22-ball stay at the wicket. Saim raised 55 for the opening wicket with Babar Azam (37). Once Saim departed in the seventh over, Babar took charge with the help of his old opening partner Mohammad Rizwan (23 rtd).

The two further added 27 runs for the second wicket. Babar fell victim to Bracewell after staying at the wicket for almost ten overs. Rizwan also had to leave the field with a cramp. It was Irfan Khan (30 not out) and Shadab Khan (41) who were given the charge to not only build the innings but also to accelerate the scoring which was not up to the requirement.

Shadab’s 20-ball 41 offered a special delight for the fans. He struck two sixes and four boundaries to make an impact on the innings. Irfan Khan was not far behind getting full use of the opportunity coming his way. He looked at ease in playing his shots, striking with a flow and contributing 30 not out to give stability to Pakistan’s middle order.

Leg spinner Ish Sodhi (2-25) was the pick of bowlers for the visitors. He again took Usman Khan’s (4) wicket who again looked struggling against quality spinner.

Score: Pakistan 178 for 4 in 20 overs (Shadab Khan 41, Babar Azam 37, Sain Ayub 32, Irfan Khan 30 not out, Ish Sofhi 2-25, Jacob Duffy 1-39)

New Zealand 179 for 3 in 18.2 overs (Mark Chapman 87 not out, Dean Foxcroft 31, Abbas Afridi 2-27)