By Ayyaz Malik
Pakistan went into this second match of the T20 series looking to win – to secure a 2-0 lead which would win them the series. The Asian side drew the test series last month and were looking to go one better against the Kiwis this time round.
Former world champions Pakistan came into this match making one change, Awais Zia was replaced with test opener Ahmed Shehzhad. Daniel Vettori came in to the side for New Zealand Adam Milne and Mitch McCleneaghan made way for Kyle Mills. Pakistan won the toss, just as they did in the first game – and were looking to restrict the Black Caps to a total which they would be able to chase down.
New Zealand opening pair Anton Devcich and Kane Williamson who is captain of the T20 side helped their side put on a good stand for the opening wicket. In fact the New Zealander’s put on 49 for the first wicket. The Kiwi pair were looking solid, it was bit of a surprise when the first wicket did fall – Devcich the man out, bowled Mohammed Hafeez for 21.
The dismissal of Anton Devcich sparked a mini collapse for New Zealand who lost another three wickets for 29 runs. Just like in the first game the Black caps were in serious danger of not having enough runs on the board to defend their total.
A fifth wicket stand however of 38 helped settle the nerves – but when Tom Latham was fifth man out with the score on only 116, New Zealand didn’t look like they had enough on the board. Another three wickets fell for 20 as New Zealand scraped to 144-8.
Pakistan needed 145 to win the second match which didn’t seem enough considering the batsmen they have at their disposal. Cricket though is a funny old game – just when you think you know what’s going to happen usually the exact opposite happens.
The Pakistani’s got their reply off to the worst possible start. Friday’s hero Sarfraz Ahmed who scored an unbeaten 76 was first out, the wicketkeeper only managed a single before being dismissed. It didn’t get any better for Pakistan who lost wickets at regular intervals. Six Pakistan wickets were down before the score reached 100, when the seventh wicket fell with 104 on the board, Pakistan must have known the game was up.
A late cameo by captain Shahid Afrid however made the game closer as a contest – but Afridi’s 28 off just 21 balls was ultimately to little to late. New Zealand closed the match out and dismissed the hosts for 127 to give them victory by 17 runs which meant the series was all square at 1-1. The one day international series starts on Monday.