Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
Following their seven-wicket defeat the other day, New Zealand came roaring back to not only beat Pakistan by 17 runs, but also end the series as a 1-1 draw.
Pakistan captain Shahid Afridi would have been pondering over his decision to bowl first after New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson and Anton Devcich amassed a 49-run partnership before Devcich was clean bowled by Mohammad Hafeez for 21.
Dean Brownlie failed to trouble the scorers as he was given out lbw off the bowling of Afridi for a duck.
However, Brownlie should not have been given out since replays showed that the ball was missing leg stump.
Williamson ended up scoring 32 runs before he was cleaned up by Afridi.
Ross Taylor scored seven runs before he was given out lbw off the bowling of Raza Hasan.
Tom Latham managed to make 26 runs before he was caught by Anwar Ali at mid-off off the bowling of Umar Gul.
Luke Ronchi made a quickfire 31 before he was caught by Ahmed Shehzad at long-on off the bowling of Sohail Tanvir.
Daniel Vettori did not make any runs as he was clean bowled by Gul for a duck.
Nathan McCullum mustered four runs before he was run out by Shehzad.
Thanks to Williamson and Ronchi, New Zealand finished on 144/8 off their 20 overs.
Gul and Afridi picked up two wickets apiece, while Tanvir, Raza and Hafeez chipped in with one wicket each.
Chasing 145 to win, Pakistan got off to an awful start as it only took Devcich four balls to trap Sarfraz Ahmed lbw for one run.
However, just like Brownlie, Ahmed should not have been given out since replays showed that the ball was missing leg stump.
Hafeez only made nine runs before he was caught and bowled by Devcich.
Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
Haris Sohail fared no better as he was caught by Latham at deep square leg to give Matt Henry his first Twenty20 International wicket.
Saad Nasim made 19 runs before he was caught by Brownlie at cover off the bowling of James Neesham.
Shehzad top-scored with 33 runs before he was clean bowled by Daniel Vettori.
Akmal scored 10 runs before he was cleaned up by Neesham.
Anwar Ali accumulated two runs before he was caught by Williamson at mid-off off the bowling of Kyle Mills.
Afridi made a rapid 28 before he was caught behind off the bowling of Neesham.
Gul did not make any runs as he was caught by Taylor at deep midwicket off the bowling of Mills.
Pakistan were bowled out for 127 just two balls later when Tanvir was caught by Devcich at long-off off the bowling of Mills.
Neesham and Mills snapped up three wickets apiece, while Devcich took two and Henry and Vettori claimed one wicket each.
Afridi was disappointed to have lost the match, and said: “We played a lot of dot balls and increased the pressure, which was needless. Was I out? (smiles, when asked about his dismissal) I wanted to take a chance as Sohail Tanvir was around. International cricket is all about pressure. The one who absorbs it goes to the next level. Happy with Gul getting back to fitness and performing well. We’re prepared for the ODI series.”
Williamson was ecstatic to have ended the series as a 1-1 draw, and said: “It was sort of an improved performance in all areas. It was pleasing tonight, we had a review about our performance last night and it was nice to improve. It’s a combination of gut and planning. It’s quite enjoyable captaining in T20 cricket, fortunate to have so much experience in the side to help out. Pakistan play really well with their depth and it was never over till the last over. So good effort from the boys. Nice for everyone to get a game in these conditions and the main thing was we improved. Looks like the tracks aren’t free flowing and it’s a bit of tough graft really and how you shape an innings is important.”
Devcich was named Man of the Match, and said: “I did a little bowling back home opening the innings. I managed to get a couple of wickets at the top. Spur of the moment captaincy, obviously two right-handers, good opportunity to get a couple of cheap overs. Getting there to timing the ball, just adjusting from home conditions.”
Ronchi was named Man of the Series, and said: “It’s nice, got a bit of luck and swung hard for a few and got away with it. It was good to get us to a total that we were lucky enough to defend. We couldn’t do that last night. Very much, for any team it’s a massive thing to play against Pakistan’s spinners and hopefully we go in full steam and do well in the one-dayers.”