Bowlers shine as Pakistan thrash New Zealand in 2nd T20I

LAHORE  -  Pakistani bowlers led a clinical dismantling of New Zealand, setting up a commanding seven-wicket win in the second T20 International at the Pindi Cricket Stadium on Saturday.

Pakistan, set to chase a modest 91 runs, achieved the target in just 12.1 overs, spearheaded by Mohammad Rizwan’s resilient 45* off 34 balls. Despite an early setback with Saim Ayub’s dismissal, Rizwan and Captain Babar Azam rallied to add 37 runs for the second wicket. Following Babar’s departure for 14, Rizwan and Irfan Khan remained unbeaten, with their partnership of 36 runs sealing the victory with 47 balls remaining.

Earlier in the day, New Zealand struggled to build momentum after being asked to bat first. Shaheen Shah Afridi quickly made inroads by removing opener Tim Seifert, setting the tone for the innings. Mohammad Amir’s return saw him claiming three vital scalps, including a crucial double strike that left the visitors floundering at 35 for 5. The spin combination of Abrar Ahmed and Shadab Khan tightened the screws, sharing four wickets to limit New Zealand to a below-par total of 90.

Pakistan’s tailenders Naseem Shah and Afridi closed out the innings, each taking a wicket to end New Zealand’s efforts. Mark Chapman was the top scorer for New Zealand, managing just 19 runs as seven of their batters failed to reach double figures.

Pakistan’s Babar Azam praised his bowlers’ early impact, stating, “The initial overs are crucial here in Pindi, and our bowlers were exceptional today. We’re exploring various team compositions and strategies as we prepare for upcoming series against Ireland and England.”

New Zealand’s Michael Bracewell admitted to their struggles, noting, “We were too slow to adjust to the pitch and it cost us. We need to learn from today’s mistakes quickly as we have another game tomorrow.”

Player of the match Shaheen Afridisaid: “Returning to bowling after a 36-day hiatus is challenging, as it’s tough to find rhythm immediately. However, I maintained my confidence and adapted my technique to the conditions. In T20 cricket, the swing fades quickly, so I focused on what the pitch and game demanded. Regarding the team dynamics, the infusion of new talent is enhancing Pakistan cricket significantly, setting a positive stage as we approach the World Cup.”


PAKISTAN 92-3 (Rizwan 45*, Lister 1-10) beat NEW ZEALAND 90 (Chapman 19, Afridi 3-13, Amir 2-13, Abrar 2-15, Shadab 2-15) by 7 wickets.

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