Recent Match Report – New Zealand vs Pakistan 2nd T20I 2023/24

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

Finn Allen’s blistering 41-ball 74 and a four-wicket haul from Adam Milne put New Zealand 2-0 up in the five-match series against Pakistan in Hamilton.

Allen put on half-century partnerships with Devon Conway and Kane Williamson for the first two wickets as New Zealand looked set for a mammoth total once more, after registering 226 in Auckland. But Abbas Afridi and Haris Rauf helped Pakistan claw back and keep the hosts to 194,
despite Mitchell Santner’s late cameo.

After losing two early wickets, Pakistan seemed to be in the driving seat with Babar Azam and Fakhar Zaman putting on 87. But Milne, Ben Sears and Ish Sodhi ran through Pakistan’s batting to secure the win for New Zealand.

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.

Williamson, meanwhile, was ticking along nicely at the other end, and took a liking to Jamal, who had dismissed Conway. Williamson hit the fast bowler for a six and four to take New Zealand to 111 for 1 at the halfway mark. But that was his last contribution to the game, as he retired hurt after feeling tightness in his right hamstring.

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

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