Shaheen relieved after beating New Zealand in fifth T20

Shaheen relieved after beating New Zealand in fifth T20

CHRISTCHURCH: Pakistan captain Shaheen Shah Afridi said it was “very important” his team avoided a whitewash series loss to New Zealand after winning the fifth and final Twenty20 International by 42 runs on Sunday.

The Black Caps capitulated for 92 in the face of some quality Pakistan spin bowling, having been favoured to chase down the tourists’ 134-8.

Pakistan lost the five-match series 4-1 but Shaheen was pleased his first stint as captain had ended on a winning note, after being outplayed through the first four games.

He said the series was primarily seen as a chance to build towards the T20 World Cup in June but it would have been a setback to lose five from five.




Remaining Time -8:17

“Today’s game was very important for us. We needed that as a unit to step forward,” Shaheen said.

“In the first four games, there were a lot of collapses, as a fielding unit, as a batting unit, but I think today we played as a team and we needed that win.

“It’s not easy for any team to come here. And I think our mind is on the World Cup. We’re just checking out every spot for every player and giving chances to youngsters.” Part-time off-spinner Iftikhar Ahmed was handed the ball for the first time in the series and produced career-best figures of 3-24 against a weakened New Zealand batting lineup, who scored their second-lowest T20 total on home soil.

Only opener Finn Allen (22) and Glenn Phillips (26) passed 20 as Pakistan claimed the last eight wickets for 39 runs.

Left-arm spinner Mohammad Nawaz (2-18) was effective with the new ball, while Shaheen claimed 2-20.

New Zealand were missing three of their first-choice batters: Kane Williamson (knee injury), Devon Conway (Covid-19) and Daryl Mitchell (rested).

Captain Mitchell Santner said their poor chase exposed some chinks.

“We’ve looked pretty good batting first and defending but, looking at today, we may need a bit of work chasing,” he said.

“In a chase like that, we talk about taking it as deep as we can and we didn’t do that.

“But all in all a pretty good series. There were good signs, different guys stepping up at different times and that’s what you want.” Earlier, it appeared the home side had done enough to push for a clean sweep through another disciplined bowling display.

Seamers Tim Southee, Matt Henry and Lockie Ferg­uson all claimed two scalps, along with spinner Ish Sodhi.

Veteran Southee (2-19) dismissed debutant Haseebullah Khan in an opening maiden over and returned in the 13th over to remove the dangerous Fakhar Zaman, who had raced to 33 off 16 balls.

Top-scorer Mohammad Rizwan departed soon afterwards for 38 off 38.

New Zealand next face a two-Test home series against South Africa while Pakistan’s next international fixtures are five T20s at home to New Zealand in April.



Haseebullah Khan c Phillips b Southee 0

Mohammad Rizwan c Ravindra b Henry 38

Babar Azam c Phillips b Sodhi 13

Fakhar Zaman c Ferguson b Southee 33

Mohammad Nawaz c Southee b Sodhi 1

Iftikhar Ahmed c Young b Ferguson 5

Sahibzada Farhan c Phillips b Ferguson 19

Shaheen Shah Afridi c Ravindra b Henry 1

Abbas Afridi not out 15

Usama Mir not out 1

EXTRAS (B-4, LB-4) 8

TOTAL (for eight wickets, 20 overs) 134

DID NOT BAT: Zaman Khan

FALL OF WICKETS: 1-0 (Haseebullah), 2-53 (Babar), 3-88 (Fakhar), 4-91 (Nawaz), 5-91 (Rizwan), 6-104 (Iftikhar), 7-114 (Shaheen), 8-130 (Farhan)

BOWLING: Southee 4-1-19-2, Henry 4-0-30-2, Santner 4-0-30-0, Ferguson 4-0-25-2, Sodhi 4-0-22-2


F. Allen c Haseebullah b Zaman 22

R. Ravindra c Zaman b Nawaz 1

T. Seifert lbw b Iftikhar 19

W. Young c Iftikhar b Nawaz 12

M. Chapman run out 1

G. Phillips c Abbas b Shaheen 26

M. Santner c&b Usama 4

M. Henry c&b Iftikhar 1

I. Sodhi c Fakhar b Iftikhar 1

T. Southee not out 4

L. Ferguson b Shaheen 0


TOTAL (all out, 17.2 overs) 92

FALL OF WICKETS: 1-12 (Ravindra), 2-30 (Allen), 3-53 (Young), 4-54 (Chapman), 5-64 (Seifert), 6-69 (Santner), 7-70 (Henry), 8-72 (Sodhi), 9-92 (Phillips)

BOWLING: Shaheen 3.2-0-20-2, Nawaz 4-0-18-2, Zaman 1-0-4-1, Usama 4-0-21-1, Abbas 1-0-4-0, Iftikhar 4-0-24-3

RESULT: Pakistan won by 42 runs.



SERIES: New Zealand won the five-match series 4-1.

Published in Dawn, January 22nd, 2024


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