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Pakistan wins thanks to a Mohammad Rizwan special!


The wicket-keeper batter was the highest scorer in the game.

Pakistan would have been the happier of the two sides at the midway point, and in the end, it turned out to be a very routine run chase for Pakistan, who now lead the three-match series 1-0 following a comfortable six-wicket victory. The opening pair of Imam Ul Haq and Fakhar Zaman got off to a good start as the New Zealand pacers struggled to gain any support from the surface.

They raced to 30 in the sixth over before Michael Bracewell took Imam’s wicket to put New Zealand ahead. Imam’s shot ended up being a nothing shot, as he lobbed it right to the mid-on fielder. Santner and Bracewell bowled well together, however Santner did surrender a few boundary balls, allowing Pakistan to score some easy runs.

In the middle, Babar Azam and Fakhar Zaman batted well. Fakhar in particular was exceptional at timing the ball and went on to score a magnificent half-century. Bracewell ultimately castled him on 56. Mohammad Rizwan joined Babar in the centre and performed the resurrection flawlessly. They did not allow New Zealand to get in.

They continued rotating the strike and finding the rare boundary that prevented the needed rate from creeping higher. Babar had achieved a half-century and appeared to be well set in the middle when Glenn Philips turned one down the leg side and he was already down the track and couldn’t quite catch up. Haris Sohail joined Rizwan, and the experienced left-hander batted effectively from the start.

He took the attack to the New Zealand bowlers and stormed to a 23-ball 32 before retiring as Pakistan was closing in on the winning mark. Rizwan was outstanding and was never challenged by any of the bowlers. He did experience cramps, but he nevertheless got his team over the final line, remaining unblemished on 77 off 86 deliveries.

Salman Agha hit Southee for a six to secure the game for Pakistan with 11 deliveries remaining. Earlier in the day, Pakistan bowled really well to restrict New Zealand to 257. Naseem Shah bowled well and finished with scores of 5/57. Most of New Zealand’s hitters got a start but couldn’t turn it into a big one. Latham led the way score with 42.



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