PAK vs NZ: Kiwis bounce back, level series against Men in Green
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Mark Chapman and James Neesham celebrate after getting the better of Pakistan by seven wickets, Pakistan vs New Zealand, 3rd T20I, Rawalpindi, April 21, 2024. — AFP
Mark Chapman and James Neesham celebrate after getting the better of Pakistan by seven wickets, Pakistan vs New Zealand, 3rd T20I, Rawalpindi, April 21, 2024. — AFP

After facing a humiliating defeat in second T20I, New Zealand bounced back and grabbed seven-wicket victory over Pakistan during the third match played at the Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium on Sunday.

The series is now level at 1-1 with two matches remaining in Lahore. The matches are scheduled on April 25 and 27 at the Gaddafi Stadium.

New Zealand had a great start to the 179-run target with openers Tim Robinson (28) and Tim Seifert (21), scoring 42 runs for the first wicket.

The home side looked to stage a comeback with back-to-back dismissals by Naseem Shah and Abbas Afridi but Chapman, paired with Dean Foxcroft had their plans.

The left-hander was the aggressor in the partnership of 117 runs while Foxcroft supported him brilliantly. Chapman reached to his eighth fifty in this format and finished on an unbeaten score of 87. He stroked nine fours and four sixes in his 42-ball innings

Foxcroft made 31 off 29 balls with the chase completing in the 19th over.

Earlier, Pakistan posted 178/4 after being put into bat first. The hosts started well with Saim Ayub dominating the visitors. The opening duo of Saim and Babar made 54/0. Saim was caught by James Neesham off Ish Sodhi’s bowling after scoring 32 runs from 22 balls at a strike rate of 145.45.

Babar looked in great touch but was caught by Jacob Duffy, bowled by Michael Bracewell, He contributed 37 runs off 29 deliveries at a strike rate of 127.58.

Mohammad Rizwan had to retire hurt after scoring 23 runs from 22 balls, with Irfan Khan replacing him.

Usman Khan again couldn’t score much and was dismissed after scoring 4 runs from 6 balls.

Irfan was joined by all-rounder Shadab Khan and the duo smashed an explosive partnership with the latter dominating the proceedings.

In a 62-run partnership, Shadab stroked 41 runs off 20 balls with the help of six boundaries.

Meanwhile, Irfan finished on 20-ball 30, smashing three fours and a six.

Experienced spinner Ish Sodhi ended up as the best bowler for New Zealand, finishing with figures of 2/25.

Remember, Pakistan made one change from their side that defeated the Kiwis in the second T20I on Saturday with Abbas Afridi coming in place of Mohammad Amir, who played his first international match after almost four years.

On the other hand, New Zealand put Zak Foulkes and Will O’Rourke in the playing XI over Jacob Duffy and Ben Sears respectively.

The series is being broadcast live on Pakistan’s first sports channel Geo Super.

Pakistan squad

Babar Azam (c), Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Saim Ayub, Usman Khan, Iftikhar Ahmed, Imad Wasim, Shadab Khan, Shaheen Afridi, Naseem Shah, Mohammad Amir, Abbas Afridi, Abrar Ahmed, Fakhar Zaman, Irfan Khan Niazi, Usama Mir, Zaman Khan

Reserves: Haseebullah, Mohammad Ali, Agha Salman, Sahibzada Farhan, Mohammad Wasim Jr.

New Zealand squad

Michael Bracewell (c), Mark Chapman, Josh Clarkson, Jacob Duffy, Dean Foxcroft, Ben Lister, Cole McConchie, Jimmy Neesham, Will O’Rourke, Tim Robinson, Ben Sears, Tim Seifert (WK), Ish Sodhi, Tom Blundell, Zak Foulkes.

Schedule of remaining matches

April 25 — 4th T20I, Lahore

April 27 — 5th T20I, Lahore

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