New Zealand get first wicket against Pakistan


Shadab was named the man of the match, whereas pacer Mohammad Amir claimed the man-of-the-series accolade.

Batting first, Green Shirts fired in unison to rattle up a challenging 181 for six against New Zealand in third and final of T20 global (T20I) match on Sunday at Bay Oval here. They did get off to a similarly positive start, with Ahmed Shehzad timing the ball beautifully.

In the reply, New Zealand were forced to introduce a new opening partner for Martin Guptill in their skipper Kane Williamson, in the absence of regular explosive opener Colin Munro. Tim Southee is also likely to return for the last match.

The crucial stage in the contest was the final four overs of Pakistan's innings as New Zealand's sloppy fielding allowed them to add 58 runs in 24 balls. But the idea of promoting Williamson backfired as he was dismissed early for just 9 runs.

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It was a quick three-over spell, just after the Powerplay, that, in hindsight, took the game out of New Zealand's hands once and for all. The Pakistan bowlers showed good discipline with Shadab Khan taking 2 for 19. The asking rate was suddenly pushing 12, and New Zealand's reliance on Guptill's explosiveness increased exponentially.

The final overs provided a pang of nostalgia as Ross Taylor unsheathed his slog sweep after years of disuse. New Zealand have won four out of their five matches in this venue.

With a leveled Series, the third and last T20I between the two top-ranked Teams will begin at Bay Oval in Mount Maunganui on Sunday at 11:00 PST.