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‘Serial losers’ Pakistan warn NZ with final win

NZ take series 2-1
CHRISTCHURCH: Captain Shahid Afridi and All Rounder Abdul Razaak took seven wickets between them as Pakistan outclassed the Kiwis in the third Twenty20 in Christchurch on Thursday. New Zealand team was all out at 80 runs defeated by 103 runs big margin in the last Twenty20 of the series. The home side won the series 2-1.
Captain Afridi grabbed four wickets for 14 runs but the star of the match was undoubtedly Abdul Razzaq, who hammered 34 off 11 deliveries before taking three top-order wickets for 13.
Pakistan set 184 runs target after winning the toss and elected to bat first, however New Zealand team was all out for just 80 runs as only veteran Scott Styris scored 45 runs.
Ahmed Shahzad and Hafeez provided good opening to the visitors. Shahzad scored fifty in the match.
Earlier Pakistan set New Zealand a challenging total for victory in the third Twenty20 in Christchurch after an explosive opening partnership and some late Abdul Razzaq fireworks propelled them to 183, despite a mini collapse in the middle overs. Ahmed Shehzad and Mohammad Hafeez capitalised on errant lengths from the New Zealand pacemen to get the innings underway, and an 11-ball Razzaq special launched Pakistan to a total that seemed far out of reach, mid-way through the 19th over.
Pakistan were away with a boundary off the first ball for the third match running, but this time the openers ensured the start wasn’t wasted with an 81-run partnership. Shehzad smashed Adam Milne for three consecutive boundaries in his second over, before repeating the dose for Tim Southee soon after. The mid-wicket fence was pinged repeatedly as Shehzad got under anything on a length, but he was good enough to cash in on the fuller deliveries as well, sending them rocketing through cover.
Hafeez didn’t take too long to get going either, unfurling his own repertoire of aggressive strokes, including an over-the-shoulder scoop off Mills and a wristy leg-side swat which sailed into the stands. The pair brought up the fifty in 4.5 overs and pummeled 14 boundaries during the fielding restrictions to set Pakistan racing towards an impressive total, but the New Zealand slow bowlers were on hand to haul back the run-rate once the field spread.
Nathan McCullum’s first over cost four runs and the wickets began to tumble in the middle as the run-rate dived. Hafeez couldn’t quite clear Ross Taylor at extra cover, and another tight over from McCullum had Shehzad attempting to resume the frenetic pace against James Franklin. He was caught plumb in front though, immediately after he had reached his fifty. Younis Khan was run out having set out for a suicidal single and Asad Shafiq perished shortly after, trying to hit out after using up 15 deliveries to score eight runs. -Online


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