Pakistan Clinches Consolation Victory in 5th T20I Against New Zealand , after losing series with 4-1 .

In a thrilling encounter at Hagley Oval, Christchurch, Pakistan secured a convincing 42-run win against New Zealand in the fifth and final T20I of the series. The victory helped Pakistan avoid a series whitewash, providing a positive end to their challenging tour of New Zealand in 2024. The standout performances of Iftikhar Ahmed and Finn Allen earned them the Player of the Match and Player of the Series awards, respectively.

New Zealand vs Pakistan, 5th T20I
New Zealand vs Pakistan, 5th T20I , image – getty image.

Pakistan’s Innings:

Pakistan posted a total of 134/8 in their 20 overs, overcoming a sluggish start. Debutant Haseebullah Khan fell for a duck, and it took 10 balls for Pakistan to score their first run. Mohammad Rizwan’s resilient 38 and Fakhar Zaman’s explosive 33 off 16 balls injected momentum. Iftikhar Ahmed’s quick 5 off 8 balls, and late contributions from Sahibzada Farhan and Abbas Afridi pushed the total past 130. New Zealand’s bowlers, led by Tim Southee, Matt Henry, and Ish Sodhi, kept the pressure on, but the Pakistani batsmen managed to set a competitive target.

BatterRunsBalls4s6sStrike Rate
Haseebullah Khan03000.00
Rizwan (wk)383840100.00
Babar Azam13241054.17
Fakhar Zaman331614206.25
Mohammad Nawaz140025.00
Iftikhar Ahmed580062.50
Sahibzada Farhan191411135.71
Shaheen Afridi (c)160016.67
Abbas Afridi14602233.33
Usama Mir1100100.00
BowlerOversMaidensRunsWicketsNo BallsWide BallsEconomy Rate
Matt Henry40302007.50
Santner (c)40300007.50
Lockie Ferguson40242006.00
Ish Sodhi40222005.50
New Zealand vs Pakistan, 5th T20I
New Zealand vs Pakistan, 5th T20I , image – getty image.

New Zealand’s Innings:

Chasing 135 for victory, New Zealand faced early setbacks as Mohammad Nawaz and Iftikhar Ahmed took crucial wickets. Finn Allen briefly threatened with 22 runs, but the Kiwi middle-order collapsed under the pressure of Pakistan’s spin attack. Glenn Phillips fought a lone battle with 26 runs, but it was not enough as New Zealand crumbled to 92 all out in 17.2 overs.

BatterRunsBalls4s6sStrike Rate
Finn Allen221931115.79
Rachin Ravindra120050.00
Tim Seifert (wk)19300063.33
Will Young121120109.09
Mark Chapman130033.33
Glenn Phillips262211118.18
Mitchell Santner (c)4400100.00
Matt Henry130033.33
Ish Sodhi130033.33
Tim Southee460066.67
Lockie Ferguson01000.00
BowlerOversMaidensRunsWicketsNo BallsWide BallsEconomy Rate
Shaheen Afridi (c)3.20202006.00
Mohammad Nawaz40182004.50
Zaman Khan1041004.00
Usama Mir40211005.20
Abbas Afridi1040004.00
Iftikhar Ahmed40243006.00

Key Performances:

  • Iftikhar Ahmed’s exceptional all-round performance (5 runs, 3 wickets) earned him the Player of the Match award.
  • Finn Allen’s consistent performances throughout the series led to him being named the Player of the Series.
  • Mohammad Nawaz (2-18) and Iftikhar Ahmed (3-24) starred with the ball, restricting New Zealand to their second-lowest T20I total at home.

Pakistan’s Lethargic Start:

Despite a slow start to their innings, Pakistan’s captain, Shaheen Shah Afridi, made strategic decisions that proved crucial. Opting for two frontline spinners and choosing to bat on a slow surface, Pakistan overcame their lethargic start to post a challenging total.

Nawaz Sets the Tone:

Mohammad Nawaz’s early breakthroughs and economical bowling in the powerplay set the tone for Pakistan. Rachin Ravindra’s wicket in the first over and disciplined bowling from Nawaz and others restricted New Zealand’s scoring, leading to a challenging run chase.

Iftikhar Applies the Squeeze:

iftikhar ahmed , New Zealand vs Pakistan, 5th T20I
iftikhar ahmed , New Zealand vs Pakistan, 5th T20I , image – getty image.

Iftikhar Ahmed’s off-spin proved to be a game-changer as he applied the squeeze through the middle overs. His three crucial wickets, combined with tight bowling, left New Zealand struggling to accelerate, ultimately leading to their downfall.

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Pakistan’s victory in the 5th T20I showcased their resilience and adaptability, overcoming challenges to finish the tour on a positive note. The spin duo of Mohammad Nawaz and Iftikhar Ahmed played pivotal roles in dismantling New Zealand’s batting lineup, ensuring Pakistan avoided a series whitewash. The series has provided valuable insights and lessons for both teams as they look ahead to future challenges in international cricket.

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