New Zealand overpower Pakistan in second T20I, clinch series

The returning Kiwi fast-bowler Tim Southee wreaked havoc on the Men in Green’s top-order

New Zealand overpower Pakistan in second T20I, clinch series PHOTO: AFP

New Zealand dominated a lackluster Pakistan side, despite the best efforts of veteran all-rounder Mohammad Hafeez (99*), enroute to a thumping nine-wicket victory in the second Twenty20 International (T20I) at the Seddon Park in Hamilton on Sunday. The home side also clinched the series, taking an unassailable two-nil lead in the three-match series. 

Chasing a target of 164 runs, the Kiwis were off to a flying start thanks to veteran opener Martin Guptill. The batsman raced to 21 runs off just 11 deliveries, which included two sixes and a four, before being removed by fast-bowler Faheem Ashraf.

Opener Tim Seifert was then joined by returning Kiwi captain Kane Williamson at the crease and the two batsmen combined for a mammoth 129-run partnership that crushed the spirits of the Pakistan bowlers and took New Zealand over the finishing line with four balls to spare.

Seifert, who was the top-scorer for New Zealand in the first T20I with 57 runs, played a scintillating knock scoring 84* runs off just 63 deliveries. Williamson, on the other hand, felt like he hadn’t missed a beat scoring a free-flowing and unbeaten 57-run knock off just 42 deliveries to drive his team to victory.

Ashraf was the only successful bowler in the Pakistan side, picking up one wicket at the expense of 19 runs in 3.2 overs.

Earlier, Pakistan’s captain Shadab Khan won the toss and elected to bat first. The returning Kiwi fast-bowler Tim Southee wreaked havoc on the Men in Green’s top-order in the early stages of the innings.

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Opener Haider Ali (8 off four deliveries), caught by fielder Kane Williamson, was Southee’s first victim. The fast-bowler then removed batsman Abdullah Shafique for a duck to put Pakistan under pressure early.

Wicketkeeper-batsman Mohammad Rizwan played a similarly cautious knock as he had played in the first T20I. The batsman scored 22 runs off 20 balls before being removed by the rampaging Southee towards the end of the powerplay.

Skipper Shadab Khan, who had instilled life into the Pakistan batting line-up in their previous match, could not replicate that innings and fell to bowler James Neesham, caught by Southee, after scoring just four runs in seven deliveries.

Batsman Khushdil Shah then joined the veteran all-rounder Mohammad Hafeez with Pakistan 56 for the loss of four wickets in 8.2 overs. The two men stitched together a 63-run partnership, where Hafeez took the attack to Kiwi bowlers while Shah played on the cautious side. Hafeez scored 48 runs off 26 deliveries during this partnership while Shah made 14 runs off 20 deliveries.

Leg-spinner Ish Sodhi then got the better of Khushdil Shah, caught by fielder Martin Guptill, to break the crucial partnership. All-rounder Faheem Ashraf, who had played a shot-filled cameo in the first T20I, was quickly removed by Southee after scoring just four runs off five deliveries.

As the team around him fell to pieces, Hafeez stood tall throughout the innings and scored at a prolific rate despite the pressure piled up by the Kiwi bowlers. The veteran all-rounder ended the innings with an unbeaten 99-run knock of just 57 deliveries that included 10 fours and five sixes. The veteran all-rounder’s excellence propelled an otherwise lackluster Pakistan effort into a 164-run target for the hosts.

Southee was the pick of the bowlers for the Kiwis after picking up four wickets in four overs at the expense of 21 runs. He was awarded the player of the match for his contributions with the ball.