PAK vs NZ: Green Shirts post 179-run target in third T20I

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Pakistan skipper Babar Azam plays a stroke during third T20I against New Zealand in Rawalpindi on April 21, 2024. — PCB
Pakistan skipper Babar Azam plays a stroke during third T20I against New Zealand in Rawalpindi on April 21, 2024. — PCB

Pakistan batters exhibited outstanding resistance to Kiwis’ bowlers and posted 179-run target in the third T20I being played at Pindi Cricket Stadium, Rawalpindi on Sunday.

The Men in Green would have to defend 179-run target in order to take a 2-0 lead in the five-match T20I series.

The hosts, who chose to bowl first after winning the toss, 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, contributing 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.

Playing XIs

Pakistan: Babar Azam (c), Saim Ayub, Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Usman Khan, Iftikhar Ahmed, Muhammad Irfan Niazi, Shadab Khan, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Naseem Shah, Mohammad Abbas Afridi, Abrar Ahmed.

New Zealand: Michael Bracewell (c), Mark Chapman, Jacob Duffy, Zak Foulkes, Dean Foxcroft, Cole McConchie, James Neesham, Will O’Rourke, Tim Robinson, Tim Seifert, Ish Sodhi.

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

Pakistan vs New Zealand T20I series schedule

April 18 — 1st T20I, Rawalpindi

April 20 — 2nd T20I, Rawalpindi

April 21 — 3rd T20I, Rawalpindi

April 25 — 4th T20I, Lahore

April 27 — 5th T20I, Lahore

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