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28-Apr-2024 05:27:00 GMT
Pak vs NZ - 5th T20I, Lahore

Babar, Afridi and Usama help Pakistan level T20I series

Pakistan 178 for 5 (Babar 69, Fakhar 43) beat New Zealand 169 (Seifert 52, Shaheen 4-30, Usama 2-21) by 9 runs

Lahore: Pakistan defeated New Zealand by nine runs in the last game of the five-match T20I series following a gripping contest decided in the final over at the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore on Saturday.

The series finished 2-2, with Pakistan winning the second and fifth T20Is and New Zealand defeating the hosts in the third and fourth matches. Meanwhile, the first encounter in Pindi was cancelled due to rain. Babar Azam's 43-ball 69 and a late cameo from Fakhar Zaman helped Pakistan reach 178.

Star pacer Shaheen Afridi was once again Pakistan's MVP with the ball, as the left-armer stole the game away from the visitors in the 15th over, sending James Neesham and Zakary Foulkes back to the pavilion on consecutive deliveries. He finished the spell with 4/30 figures.

Chasing the 179-run target, the Kiwis were disturbed by Afridi's first-over heroics, when the 24-year-old dismissed Tom Blundell with an in-swinging beauty.

However, the Black Caps responded immediately when Tim Seifert grabbed command of the game and hammered Pakistan's Mohammad Amir for boundaries all over the ground in his over.

Usama Mir dismissed the right-hander in the ninth over after he scored a fast 52 from 33 deliveries.

Despite losing wickets at regular intervals, New Zealand continued to play attacking cricket, with Josh Clarkson doing the job down the order. However, Clarkson was unable to lead his team over the finish line, and the visitors were defeated by nine runs.

Earlier, put to bat first, Pakistan posted 178/5 with captain Babar Azam slamming 69 off 44 balls.

Fakhar Zaman took charge in the second part of the innings, continuing his dominance from the previous game. He finished with 43 from 33 balls, including five boundaries.

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