Pakistan beat New Zealand by 18 runs in the third T20 international to clinch the three-match series 2-1 in a one-sided contest at Mount Maunganui, New Zealand on Sunday.
Finally finding form in the shorter version of the game following a 5-0 drubbing in the one-day international series and Tests, Pakistan put up an imposing total of 181-6 vindicating skipper Sarfaraz Ahmed’s decision to bat first. The Kiwis were then restricted to 163-6 in 20 overs with Shadab Khan bowling influentially in a batting pitch picking up 19-2 from four overs.
All top order batsmen contributed, while guiding Pakistan to a huge total. Fakhar Zaman topped their scorecard with a 36-ball 46 hitting five fours and a six. Skipper Ahmed was second best making 29 off 21 with three hits to the fence.
For New Zealand, Mitchell Santner and Ish Sodhi managed to pick up two wickets each. Santner marked his day with prized scalp of Zaman and Sarfraz Ahmed returning the figures of 2-24.
Opener Martin Guptil posted a match-high 59 striking four sixes and two boundaries, while Ross Taylor (25) and Mitchell Santner (24) were their next best scorers.
Shadab Khan was declared the player of the match. The series win will take Pakistan to the pinnacle of ICC T20I ranking.
Brief scores –
Fakhar Zaman 48 (36)
Ish Sodhi (4-0-24-2)
New Zealand (163/6)
Martin Guptil 59 (43)
Shadab Khan (4-0-19-2)