Babar and Bowlers Propel Pakistan to Series-Leveling Victory Against New Zealand

Babar and Bowlers Propel Pakistan to Series-Leveling Victory Against New Zealand

At the Gaddafi Stadium, Pakistan clinched a crucial victory against New Zealand, leveling the five-match series at 2-2 as the Kiwis stumbled in their chase of 179 runs. Shaheen Shah Afridi, along with the spin trio of Usama Mir, Shadab Khan, and Imad Wasim, applied immense pressure on the New Zealand batsmen, leading to their downfall and securing a face-saving win for Pakistan.

Notably, for the third consecutive match, the opposition faced a target of 179 runs, a figure only once surpassed by New Zealand in the third T20I at Rawalpindi. In both instances at the Gaddafi Stadium, Pakistan (174) and New Zealand failed to surpass the mark.

Tim Seifert’s brisk innings of 52 off 33 deliveries provided some hope for New Zealand, but his dismissal in the ninth over triggered a collapse as Pakistani bowlers dominated. Only Michael Bracewell (23 off 21) and Clarkson (38 off 26) offered resistance, while other batsmen succumbed cheaply. Usama Mir’s spin proved particularly effective, claiming crucial wickets in consecutive overs, while Afridi wreaked havoc with four wickets for 30 runs.

Shadab Khan and Imad Wasim contributed with vital breakthroughs, while Mohammad Amir, despite being expensive, played a role in the tight finish of the match.

In their innings, Pakistan overcame an early setback with Saim’s dismissal, thanks to a crucial partnership between Babar Azam and Usman Khan. Azam’s well-crafted 69 off 44 deliveries anchored the innings, supported by Fakhar Zaman’s aggressive innings of 43 off 33 balls. Shadab Khan’s quickfire cameo of 15 runs off five balls propelled Pakistan to an identical total for the second consecutive match.

O’Rourke impressed with the ball for New Zealand, while Zakaray Foulkes, Ben Sears, Ish Sodhi, and James Neesham also contributed with a wicket each.

Shaheen Shah Afridi’s stellar performance earned him the Player of the Match award for his four-wicket haul and the Man of the Series title for his impactful contributions throughout the series.

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