T20 World Cup 2021, PAK vs NZ: Pacer Haris Rauf’s stupendous four-wicket haul along with Shoaib Malik & Asif Ali’s onslaught with the bat helped Pakistan to take revenge from New Zealand by registering a stunning five-wicket win in the Match 19 of the T20 World Cup 2021.
Most of Pakistan’s top order batters except Mohammed Rizwan (33) struggled with the bat but the experienced Malik (26 not out off 20 balls) & Asif Ali (27 not out off 12) steadied Pakistan’s innings by stitching 48 run partnership for the six-wicket to take Pakistan over the line with eight balls to spare. This win marked Pakistan’s second consecutive victory after Pakistan’s historic 10 wicket win over India on Sunday.
Chasing a meager target of 135 runs, Captain Babar Azam (9) & Rizwan got off to a decent start to but they were finding it difficult to score runs as their chase progressed ahead. Azam was not at his best form as compared to his stunning 68 runs knock against India & was bowled in the sixth over by Tim Southee who marked his 100th T20I Wicket.
Runs were not coming in for Pakistan as they could reach 30 for 1 at the end of the powerplay & suffered another blow as Fakhar Zaman (11) was trapped LBW by Ish Sodhi right in the ninth over. Former Pakistan Captain Mohammad Hafeez also contributed to the total by smashing a six off James Neesham’s delivery as soon as he came out to take the strike & thereby Pakistan reached 58 for 2.
However, in the very next over, Mohammed Hafeez got out with Devon Conway taking a stunning diving catch near the boundary ropes off the bowling of Mitchell Santner. New Zealand bounced back into the match by trapping opener Rizwan for LBW by Ish Sodhi in the 12th over. After a couple of relatively quiet overs, Trent Boult got his first wicket by getting rid of Imad Wasim (11) in the 15th over.
Shoaib Malik & Asif Ali’s onslaught with the bat took ‘Men In Green’ over the line in 18 overs!
But the match didn’t go out of Pakistan’s hands, courtesy of Shoaib Malik & Asif Ali. When Pakistan needed 44 runs from the last five overs, Asif Ali came in & hit two consecutive maximums in the 17th over to change the momentum of the match in Pakistan’s favor. Malik hit a six and a four in the next over before Ali set the Sharjah’s ground on fire by hitting a six and winning runs — a two — to take Pakistan to 135 for 5 in 18.4 overs.
Earlier, Rauf headed Pakistan’s bowling attack by scalping four wickets to restrict the Black Caps to a total of 135 runs. The Black Caps were in trouble after they were sent in to bat first as Pakistani bowlers didn’t allow them to score runs. Only opener Daryl Mitchell and Conway contributed with the bat by scoring 27 runs each & Captain Kane Williamson contributed 25.
New Zealand couldn’t stitch even one stable partnership with their highest being the 36-run opening stand between Mitchell and Martin Guptill (17). for Pakistan, Shaheen Afridi, Imad Wasim, and Mohammad Hafeez also took one wicket each.
Shaheen Afridi who ran through India’s top-order during the India Pakistan clash got the swing right in the opening over & scalped his maiden wicket. But Mitchell hit a four off his second over which yielded eight runs. Mitchell then hoisted Hasan Ali for a six as New Zealand tried to step up & register a big total. But New Zealand was unable to get through the powerplay unscathed as Rauf uprooted Guptill’s timbers after the ball took a deflection off the batter’s pads.
However, Mitchell got caught near the ropes by Fakhar Zaman as he smashed a six off Imad’s ball in the ninth over. James Neesham also couldn’t create a mark with the bat as he got out for 1 in the next over off Hafeez delivery with New Zealand reaching 60 runs with three wickets down at halfway mark.
New Zealand held their nerves & scalped 25 runs from the 12th & 13th over with Williamson smashing Hafeez for a six and a four. Even Conway took Shadab for a ride by hitting three consecutive fours. But the Kiwi innings took a turn after Williamson was run out in the 14th over as Hasan Ali’s brilliant direct throw off his own bowling dislodged the bails.
New Zealand could only reach the 100-run mark at the end of the 15th over and Conway and Glenn Phillips (13) got out in the space of three balls in the 18th over thereby reducing New Zealand to a total of 135 runs at the end of 20 overs.
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