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Saturday May 18, 2024

PAK vs NZ: Green Shirts thrash Kiwis in one-sided second T20

Afridi picks three wickets while Amir, Abrar and Shadab get two each

By Web Desk
April 20, 2024
Pakistani players celebrate together after taking a wicket during second T20I at Pindi Cricket Stadium on April 20, 2024. — PCB
Pakistani players celebrate together after taking a wicket during second T20I at Pindi Cricket Stadium on April 20, 2024. — PCB

RAWALPINDI: In a one-sided match, Pakistan thrashed New Zealand by seven wickets at the Pindi Cricket Stadium, Rawalpindi on Saturday.

Mohammad Rizwan, who became the fastest player to score 3,000 T20I runs, starred for the winning side by top-scoring with 45 runs as the right-handed batter once again proved his importance to the team.

Chasing the target of 91, Pakistan were handed a blow in the first over as opener Saim Ayub got out on the second ball of the innings scoring just four runs.

Babar Azam and Rizwan took the field after Ayub’s departure but the skipper too followed the youngster in the fifth over after contributing just 14 runs as he fell prey to Michael Bracewell.

Following Babar’s wicket, Usman Khan, who decided to play for Pakistan over the UAE, was clean bowled by Ish Sodhi for just seven runs. However, that was the last wicket the Green Shirts lost as Rizwan and Ifran Khan Niazi steered the home side to victory.

The two batters had a 36-run stand. Niazi scored 18 runs while Rizwan concluded his innings with 45 runs.

The Green Shirts now lead the five-match series 1-0 after the first T20I was called off due to rain.

Earlier in the first innings, Pakistan’s bowling attack was in top form as they bundled out the entire New Zealand side for 90 runs in 18.1 overs.

The Black Caps were never in the game as they were troubled greatly by the Pakistani pace attack.

In the third over, Shaheen Afridi, known for performing with the new ball, did he what he does best and sent the Black Caps’ opener, Tim Seifert, back to the pavilion for just 12 runs.

After Shaheen, Mohammad Amir, who was playing his first match for Pakistan in almost four years, came to bowl and struck in his first over, removing Tim Robinson for just four runs.

Amir continued to trouble the visitor’s batting lineup as in his second over, he took the wicket of Dean Foxcroft with skipper Babar Azam taking a simple catch.

The Kiwis managed to save wickets for the next two overs but Abrar Ahmed took two quick wickets in the ninth over, sending Mark Chapman and James Neesham back to the pavilion after contributing 19 and one run respectively.

The remaining damage down the order was done by Shadab Khan and Naseem Shah. Only four New Zealand batters managed to score in double digits as Pakistan dominated the night with the ball.

Afridi picked three wickets, while Amir, Abrar and Shadab got two each. Naseem could only bag one.