WELLINGTON: Corey Anderson’s all-round show helped New Zealand thump Pakistan by 95 runs in the deciding Twenty20 International here on Friday and bag the three-match series by 2-1.
The powerful left-hander punished the touring side with an unbeaten 82 from 42 balls to power New Zealand to 196 for five wickets in their 20 overs after Pakistan won the toss and opted to field.
Pakistan were left to rue their decision as Martin Guptill and captain Kane Williamson gave New Zealand a rollicking start with an opening stand of 57 runs.
The portents were clear right from the first ball of the match, which Martin Guptill flat-batted to the cover boundary. Carrying on from where he left off in Hamilton, Guptill tore into Anwar Ali, who replaced Umar Gul in Pakistan’s seam attack, spanking him for another four and a six off the last two balls of the first over.
With Guptill in an equally punishing mood against Imad Wasim’s hitherto unhittable left-arm spin, New Zealand reached the half-century mark as early as the start of the fifth over. They could have gotten there earlier, had more if not for Mohammad Amir’s efforts to tie up Kane Williamson at the other end, bowling with pace and giving him no room.
Guptill was looking unstoppable until Afridi brought himself on and pulled things back with his skiddy topspinners from just back of a length. He forced Guptill to miscue a slog-sweep and hole out, and gave away only seven runs from his first two overs. In between, a brilliant piece of fielding from Rizwan at midwicket ran out Colin Munro at the non-striker’s end.
Not long after, Williamson had holed out off Wahab Riaz, and Ross Taylor had retired hurt with a side strain. But New Zealand still had the momentum, with Anderson already underway with two fours and a six off his first twelve balls.
Anderson was not at his most fluent, but his method of clearing his front leg to make swinging room brought him rich dividends whenever anything was pitched in his hitting zone.
With the leg-side boundary packed and a sweeper square on the off-side, third man was usually inside the circle. This gave Pakistan’s seamers little margin for error when they tried to fire in the yorker, as Anderson made room, freed his arms, and carved the ball over or wide of that fielder for four of his six fours, with Wahab, who went for 43 in his four overs, receiving special attention for this form of punishment.
Anderson added 80 for the fourth wicket with fellow all-rounder Grant Elliott (19) to take his side to a daunting total.
Pakistan never managed to get their chase on track and were reduced to 15-3 within the third over and finally folded for 101 in the 17th.
Failing to get on top of a short ball from Trent Boult, Mohammad Hafeez sliced a high catch into the point region. In the next over, Ahmed Shehzad picked out deep square leg while looking to pull Anderson, before Mohammad Rizwan ran himself out hurtling needlessly from his crease. Shoaib Malik (14) struck three sweetly-timed fours off Boult, but the required rate brought out a miscued slog in the next over and Anderson had his second wicket.
Wicketkeeper Sarfraz Ahmed (41) showed some resistance, but New Zealand were firmly on the road to victory.
Other than Malik and Sarfraz, none of Pakistan’s batsmen notched double figures.
Fast bowler Adam Milne and Elliott picked up three wickets each, while Anderson also pitched in with two before he left the field due to cramps.
The two sides will next play a three one-day international series with the first match at the Basin Reserve in Wellington on Monday.
Pakistan won toss
M J Guptill c U Akmal b Shahid 42
*K S Williamson c Shoaib b Wahab 33
C Munro run out 4
C J Anderson not out 82
L R P L Taylor retired hurt 6
G D Elliott run out 19
†L Ronchi c U Akmal b Wahab 1
M J Santner not out 2
Extras (lb 2, w 4, nb 1) 7
Total (5 wickets; 20 overs) 196
Did not bat: A F Milne, M J McClenaghan, T A Boult
Fall: 1-57, 2-62, 3-94, 3-110*, 4-174, 5-175
Bowling: Anwar 3-0-31-0; Amir 4-0-35-0; Imad 4-0-42-0; Wahab 4-0-43-2 (1nb, 1w); Shahid 4-0-27-1; Shoaib 1-0-16-0 (2w)
M Hafeez c Santner b Boult 2
Ahmed Shehzad c Boult b Anderson 8
M Rizwan run out 4
Shoaib Malik c McClenaghan b Anderson 14
†Sarfraz Ahmed c Milne b Elliott 41
Umar Akmal c sub (P Younghusband) b Milne 5
*Shahid Afridi c sub (M Henry) b Elliott 8
Imad Wasim c Guptill b Elliott 0
Anwar Ali c Ronchi b Milne 8
Wahab Riaz c Ronchi b Milne 4
M Amir not out 1
Extras (lb 2, w 4) 6
Total (all out; 16.1 overs) 101
Fall: 1-7, 2-14, 3-15, 4-36, 5-55, 6-75, 7-76, 8-92, 9-98, 10-101
Bowling: Anderson 3-0-17-2; Boult 3-0-32-1 (1w); Milne 3.1-1-8-3; Santner 1-0-7-0; McClenaghan 3-0-15-0 (1w); Elliott 2-0-7-3 (1w); Munro 1-0-13-0 (1w)
Result: New Zealand won by 95 runs
Series: New Zealand won the 3-match series by 2-1
Man of the Match: C J Anderson (New Zealand)
Umpires: B F Bowden and D J Walker. TV umpire: W R Knights. Match referee: D C Boon (Australia)