Pakistan won the toss in the third T20i of the series and elected to bat first. The three-match T20i series is leveled a the moment with both the sides winning a match each.
Hasan Ali was not a part of playing XI in today’s match as he twisted his ankle while playing football last evening and experiencing a niggle. Amir Yamin has been included in the side in place of the top-ranked ODI pacer.
On the other hand, Colin Munro also warmed the bench for New Zealand due to an injury.
Ahmed Shehzad was looking impressive, he was middling the ball, but was once again failed to rotate the strike that put him under pressure. Shehzad was looking to play an unconventional stroke off Colin de Grandhomme where he gloved it to the keeper. Umpire gave it not out, but the review show conclusive evidence to reverse the decision. He scored 19 (17).
Babar Azam did all the hard work, he looked impressive for his 18 runs off 17 deliveries and got out on a poor delivery of Ish Sodhi. It was short and there to be hit, but he cut it straight to Kane Williamson.
Fakhar looked once again very impressive and complete control with his aggressive strokeplay. He along with his skipper Sarfraz Ahmed had a handy partnership for Pakistan of 40 runs. Fakhar Zaman moved back to hit Santner over covers but found Tom Bruce there who caught it just above the ground. It was a tight call, it seemed like the ball hit the ground but due to unavailability of conclusive evidence, he was given out. He scored 46 off 36 balls.
After losing his partner, Sarfraz was looking to play the role of the aggressor, but he was unable to strick them big. Mitchell Santner got the better of Sarfraz when he edged one to short third-man where Ish Sodhi caught it easily. He scored 29 (21).
Pakistan’s last four batsmen contributed hugely in taking their team to a decent total of 181/6 in their quota of 20 overs.
Umar Amin played a brilliant cameo in the back end of the inning of 21 runs off 7 deliveries. Faheem Ashraf was also impressive for his 8 runs off 4 balls, but he was undone by a brilliant delivery of Trent Boult. Aamer Yamin also showed his batting glimpses when he scored 15 runs off the last over of the inning of Tim Southee. Whereas, Haris Sohail was once again impressive with the bat scoring 20 off 12.
It was an evening belonging to Kiwi spinners with Mitchell Santner and Ish Sodhi both getting two wickets. Trent Boult and Colin de Grandhomme took one wicket, while Tim Southee remained wicketless, though he bowled well.
New Zealand had a decent start as they came out to chase the big total. Martin Guptill took the role of aggressor, whereas Kane Williamson looked unsettled. He looked to smash Faheem Ashraf’s first delivery over point, but was caught by Babar Azam. He scored 9 off 14 balls.
Martin Guptill was aggressive in the span, he was the only Blackcap batsman looking in control. He raised his half-century in the inning, but he could not find support from the other end. Anaru Kitchen looked to take on Shadab Khan coming down the track, the leggie deceived him and was stumped after scoring 16 (19).
The young leg-spinner struck once again in the same over when Guptill looked to play it across the line and was caught by Fakhar Zaman, he scored 59 off 43.
Aamer Yamin joined Shadab Khan in the wicket column, he cleaned up the dangerous Colin de Grandhomme, who can be ruthless with the bat, he could only 1 run off 2 deliveries.
Ross Taylor came out in the middle for the purpose and he went all guns blazing from the world go. He struck three sixes in the inning, but Mohammad Amir proved to be extremely good for him. He bowled full and fast and eventually Taylor edged one to keeper. The umpire turned down the appeal, but DRS rescued Pakistan. He played an aggressive inning of 25 runs on 11 balls.
Mohammad Amir and Rumman Raees bowled excellent death overs that took the game away from the hosts.
They need 42 runs off two, which seemed a very tough equation for any chasing side of the world. Amir bowled brilliantly with seven runs in his six balls.
Faheem Ashraf bowled an expensive last over, but Mitchell Santner could only manage 16 runs.
Shadab Khan took two wickets for 19, whereas Mohammad Amir bowled brilliantly in the game having figures of 1 for 23. Aamer Yamin, Rumman Raees and Faheem Ashraf also struck once in the match.
Pakistan won the contest by 18 runs to clinch the T20i series and also claimed the top spot in the ICC T20i rankings for teams.
Shadab Khan won the man of the match award for his brilliant bowling in the game, while Mohammad Amir was named as the man of the series for his phenomenal performance with the ball in the series.
Pakistan XI: Fakhar Zaman, Ahmed Shehzad, Babar Azam, Sarfraz Ahmed, Haris Sohail, Umer Amin, Shadab Khan, Aamir Yamin, Faheem Ashraf, Mohammad Amir, Rumman Raees
New Zealand XI: Martin Guptill, Kane Williamson, Anaru Kitchen, Tom Bruce, Ross Taylor, Colin de Grandhomme, Tom Blundell, Mitchell Santner, Tim Southee, Ish Sodhi, Trent Boult