New Zealand 194 for 8 (Allen 74, Rauf 3-38, Abbas 2-43) beat Pakistan 173 (Babar 66, Fakhar 50, Milne 4-33, Sears 2-28, Southee 2-31, Sodhi 2-33) by 21 runs
despite Mitchell Santner’s late cameo.
Allen fires for New Zealand
After scores of 38 and 34 in his last two T20Is – and two half-centuries in the Super Smash in between – Allen continued his good form, hitting Rauf for a six and a four off his first two balls. Shaheen Shah Afridi wasn’t spared either as Allen deposited him for a six over deep midwicket.
Allen continued to take on Rauf, who gave away 30 in his first two overs. Abbas was also welcomed to the attack with a 11-run over.
If Pakistan thought spin could deter Allen, they were mistaken. He welcomed Usama Mir with two boundaries in his first over, before hitting him for a six and a four in his next over. The six – a half-tracker pulled over deep midwicket – brought up a 24-ball half-century.
Allen then muscled Mir over backward point for a six but the legspinner had his revenge when he cleaned the opener up with a wrong’un for 74. It was the first time Allen had scored above 20 in three successive T20Is in his 37-match career.
Abbas and Rauf pull Pakistan back
With Allen back in the hut, Abbas struck on either side of two tight overs from Mir and Rauf to effectively leave New Zealand five down. Rauf then severely dashed their hopes of getting to 200 with a triple-wicket penultimate over. He first had Glenn Phillips caught at backward point, then had Milne hole out to long-on for a golden duck, before cleaning up Sodhi to finish with 3 for 38.
Santer tried his best – first hitting Abbas for six and then taking 14 off a Jamal over – but was run out in the last over as New Zealand were kept to 194.
Babar, Fakhar dominate
Mohammad Rizwan hit a six off the first ball he faced, but Tim Southee and Adam Milne sent the openers back early. Milne thought he had a second wicket only for Sears to drop Fakhar at backward square leg. Fakhar was yet to get off the mark, and it proved to be an expensive drop.
While Babar was the aggressor at the start, Fakhar soon caught up. He smacked three sixes in two overs as Pakistan ended the powerplay on 61 for 2. He hit Sodhi for sixes off successive balls before back-to-back fours off Mile helped him to a 23-ball fifty. However, two balls later, he played on.
Babar had raced to 21 off his first ten balls, taking on anything short. He got a reprieve on 27, when Chapman shelled a sitter at backward point. Even after losing Fakhar, he batted steadily and brought up his second successive half-century.
Sears, Sodhi and Milne close out the win
With the asking rate mounting on Pakistan, Sears had Iftikhar Ahmed caught at fine leg. Sodhi then dismissed Azam Khan and Jamal in quick time.
Babar was still fighting on, hitting Southee and Santner for sixes. Shaheen also joined in, taking Santner on.
But Sears had Babar miscue to mid-off to end Pakistan’s resistance. Milne took two off two in the penultimate over before Southee sealed the win.
Abhimanyu Bose is a sub-editor with ESPNcricinfo