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Babar's Half-Century, Afridi's Four-Fer Propel Pakistan to Victory Against New Zealand

Seifert's half-century and Clarkson's late push for an unlikely win proved futile for New Zealand.

Captain Babar Azam's 34th half-century, complemented by Shaheen Afridi's four-wicket haul, led Pakistan to a thrilling nine-run triumph over New Zealand in the fifth T20I of the series at Gaddafi Stadium on Saturday.

Babar Azam powered Pakistan with a solid start

Pakistan, rallying from consecutive defeats, managed to level the five-match T20I series 2-2 with a determined performance.
Opting to chase 179, New Zealand's Tom Blundell showed early promise, but Afridi's resurgence dismissed him early, setting the tone for the innings.

Despite a spirited effort from Tim Seifert, who notched up a brisk 52, wickets fell at regular intervals for the visitors, with Afridi and Usama Mir wreaking havoc in the middle overs.

Tim Seifert made 52 off 33 deliveries

Afridi's decisive spell, claiming four crucial wickets, restricted New Zealand to 169 runs by the end of their innings.

Shaheen Shah Afridi bagged a four-wicket haul

In response, Pakistan's innings commenced on a shaky note, losing Saim Ayub early to William O'Rourke. However, Azam's aggressive innings, supported by Usman Khan's steady contribution, steadied the ship for the hosts.

The duo stitched a vital partnership, propelling Pakistan's score to a formidable total. Despite the loss of a few quick wickets, Azam's resilience and Fakhar Zaman's determined effort propelled Pakistan to a competitive total of 178/5 in their allotted overs.

New Zealand's bowling attack managed to chip away at Pakistan's batting lineup, but the hosts managed to post a challenging target, ultimately clinching victory and levelling the series.

Pakistan beat New Zealand by nine runs in the fifth T20I
Pakistan 178-5, 20 overs (Babar Azam 69, Fakhar Zaman 43, Usman Khan 31)
New Zealand 169 all-out, 19.2 overs (Tim Seifert 52, Josh Clarkson 38 not out, Michael Bracewell 23; Shaheen Shah Afridi 4-30, Usama Mir 2-21)

Player of the match – Shaheen Shah Afridi (PAK)
Player of the series – Shaheen Shah Afridi (PAK)

Series Result:
1st T20I – No Result - Rain, Rawalpindi
2nd T20I – Pakistan won by seven wickets, Rawalpindi
3rd T20I – New Zealand won by seven wickets, Rawalpindi
4th T20I – New Zealand won by four runs, Lahore

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