Pakistan vs New Zealand Series of 5 T20I comes to an end, Pakistan lost early 4 matches but won the last game and avoided a series whitewash.
To avoid a series whitewash, Pakistan secured a convincing 42-run victory over New Zealand in the final T20I on Sunday in Christchurch. Despite New Zealand’s earlier series dominance with four wins, Pakistan managed to prevent a clean sweep.
Chasing a target of 135 runs, New Zealand faced a major setback, getting bundled out for 92 runs in 17.2 overs. Although they were at 53-2 at one stage, a collapse inside 20 overs led to their downfall. Off-spinner Iftikhar Ahmed played a pivotal role for Pakistan, claiming 3-24 in four overs, while Captain Shaheen Afridi and all-rounder Mohammad Nawaz secured two wickets each. Glenn Phillips top-scored for New Zealand with 26 runs.
In the first innings, Pakistan, having won the toss, struggled to reach 134-8, with a steady loss of wickets hampering their efforts against New Zealand’s disciplined bowling. Seamers Tim Southee, Matt Henry, Lockie Ferguson, and spinner Ish Sodhi each took two wickets, putting New Zealand in a favorable position for a series clean sweep.
Southee, the leading wicket-taker in T20 cricket, dismissed debutant Haseebullah Khan in the opening over and later removed the dangerous Fakhar Zaman. Despite a commendable 38 off 38 by top-scorer Mohammad Rizwan, Pakistan recorded their lowest first-innings score of the series.
With three changes to their lineup, Pakistan showcased resilience, and their spinners shone in the final match.
Part-time offspinner Iftikhar Ahmed achieved career-best figures of 3-24, dismantling a weakened New Zealand batting lineup without key players Kane Williamson, Devon Conway, and Daryl Mitchell. Mohammad Nawaz (2-18) and Shaheen Shah Afridi (2-20) also played crucial roles in securing Pakistan’s consolation win and avoiding a series whitewash.