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Chapman leads New Zealand to seven-wicket win over Pakistan

Skipper Babar Azam failed to score big after settling down.


Mark Chapman’s unbeaten half-century led New Zealand to a comfortable seven-wicket win over Pakistan in the third T20I here at the Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium on Sunday night. The win levels the five T20Is at 1-1.

Chasing 179 to win, the tourists lost two wickets in the batting powerplay with 53 runs on the board. After the departure of opening batters Tim Robinson (28, 19b, 5x4s) and Tim Seifert (21, 16b, 1x4, 1x6), Chapman and Dean Foxcroft got together and went belligerent on the bowlers from the beginning.

Chapman, in particular, entertained Rawalpindi crowd with his fine display of batting, playing shots at will against the likes of Shaheen Shah Afridi and Naseem Shah.

Chapman returned unbeaten on 87 off just 42 balls and struck nine fours and four towering sixes during the innings. The left-handed batter stitched a 117-run partnership for the third wicket, which helped the Kiwis achieve the target with 10 balls to spare.
Right-handed batter Foxcroft hit a four and a six in his 29-ball 31 innings before getting dismissed by Abbas Afridi in the 18th over.

For Pakistan, Abbas grabbed two wickets, while Naseem took one wicket.

Earlier, Pakistan made one change in their playing XI in tonight’s game, with Abbas Afridi replacing Mohammad Amir. After being put into bat, Pakistan scored 178 for four in 20 overs. The opening pair of Babar Azam and Saim Ayub went blazing from the start and scored nine runs an over in the powerplay.

Southpaw Saim was the first batter to return to the hut (55-1), scoring 32 off 22, which included five fours and a six in the seventh over of the innings.

After Saim’s departure, Mohammad Rizwan and Babar got together and took the home side’s score to 84 for one at the halfway stage. In the 11th over, Babar (37, 29b, 4x4s, 1x6) fell to Michael Bracewell as the hosts were 84 for two.

In the 13th over of the innings, Rizwan (22, 21b, 1x4) retired hurt after pulling his right hamstring. Right-handed batter Usman Khan (5, 7b), playing his third T20I, became Sodhi’s second scalp of the evening as the hosts were 105 for three at the end of 13 overs.

At that stage of the game, Muhammad Irfan Khan was joined by Shadab Khan and the pair knitted 62 runs for the fourth wicket off just 34 balls. All-rounder Shadab scored a quick-fire 41 off 20 balls, smashing four fours and two maximums. Irfan, playing his third T20I, returned undefeated on 30 off 20 balls, hitting three fours and one six to help Pakistan post 178.

For New Zealand, leg-spinner Sodhi was the pick of the bowlers with two for 25 in four overs.

Both sides will now travel to Lahore with five-match T20I series evenly poised at 1-1.

The remaining two T20Is will be played at Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore on 25 and 27 April, respectively.


Pakistan 178-4, 20 overs (Shadab Khan 41, Babar Azam 37, Saim Ayub 32, Muhammad Irfan Khan 30 not out; Ish Sodhi 2-25)
New Zealand 179-3, 18.2 overs (Mark Chapman 87 not out, Dean Foxcroft 31; Abbas Afridi 2-27)

New Zealand beat Pakistan by seven wickets
Player of the match – Mark Chapman (New Zealand)

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