Pakistan's Premier Multilingual News Agency

Pakistan wins fifth T20 against New Zealand, but loses series

Christchurch, 23 January, 2024 (GNP): In a spirited display, Pakistan’s spinners secured a consolation 42-run victory over New Zealand in the fifth and final Twenty20 international, preventing a clean sweep in the series.

While the tourists lost the series 4-1, their bowlers shone as they dismissed the Black Caps for a mere 92, defending a target of 134-8.

Part-time offspinner Iftikhar Ahmed delivered a career-best performance, claiming 3-24, as a weakened New Zealand batting lineup struggled against the turning ball, resulting in their eighth-lowest T20 total.

Pakistan’s bowlers dominated, with left-arm spinner Mohammad Nawaz (2-18) making early breakthroughs, and Shaheen Shah Afridi (2-20) ending his maiden series as captain on a positive note.

Missing key players like Kane Williamson, Devon Conway, and Daryl Mitchell, New Zealand’s batting woes allowed only Finn Allen (22) and Glenn Phillips (26) to cross the 20-run mark. Pakistan’s bowlers orchestrated a remarkable collapse, taking the last eight wickets for just 39 runs.

Earlier, New Zealand’s disciplined bowling had restricted Pakistan’s batters, with seamers Tim Southee, Matt Henry, and Lockie Ferguson claiming two wickets each. Despite top-scorer Mohammad Rizwan’s 38 off 38, Pakistan posted their lowest first-innings score of the series.

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Shaheen Shah Afridi expressed the importance of avoiding a whitewash, considering the upcoming T20 World Cup. He highlighted the significance of the win, emphasizing the team’s need to perform collectively.

New Zealand skipper Mitchell Santner acknowledged the need for improvement in chasing but commended the series for showcasing different players stepping up at various times.