Rizwan helps Pakistan avoid T20 series sweep in New Zealand

By Sports Desk December 22, 2020

Mohammad Rizwan smashed 89 as Pakistan avoided being swept in the Twenty20 series against New Zealand, despite a late wobble in their run chase in Napier.  

Opening the batting, Rizwan hit 10 fours and three sixes in his maiden international half-century in the format, helping the tourists surpass the home team's total of 173-7 with four wickets to spare in the third and final game.  

Mohammad Hafeez contributed 41 to a second-wicket stand worth 72 and Pakistan appeared to be cruising at one stage, only to lose wickets in the closing overs.  

Tim Southee dismissed Faheem Ashraf and Shadab Khan – continuing to stand in as captain in the absence of injured Babar Azam – in successive deliveries in the 19th over, while Rizwan departed to Kyle Jamieson to leave the score at 171-6.  

However, left needing three from the final three balls, Iftikhar Ahmed sealed victory in style with a huge six. New Zealand were hampered by the absence of Ish Sodhi, the leg-spinner only sending down one over before suffering an injury in the field.

Devon Conway had earlier helped the Black Caps post what looked to be a competitive total at the halfway stage, hitting seven fours and a solitary six as he made 63 from 45 deliveries.  

Tim Seifert made 35 at the top of the New Zealand order, while Glenn Phillips (31) shared a 51-run partnership with Conway for the fourth wicket.  

Faheem Ashraf claimed 3-20 during his four overs, including dismissing home skipper Kane Williamson for one, bowled off an inside edge to a short delivery.   

There were two wickets apiece for Shaheen Afridi and Haris Rauf, though both went at an economy rate above 10 an over in an innings that included 16 fours and six sixes.  

The two nations now switch their focus quickly to Test cricket, with the series opener getting under way at Mount Maunganui on Boxing Day. 

Pakistan confirmed on Monday that Babar will not recover from a broken thumb in time to play, though the batsman may yet feature in the second and final Test, which takes place in Christchurch.

Related items

  • Chahar marks half-century in style as CSK crush Punjab Kings Chahar marks half-century in style as CSK crush Punjab Kings

    Deepak Chahar produced career-best Indian Premier League figures to inspire Chennai Super Kings to a dominant victory over Punjab Kings.

    Making his 50th appearance in the competition, Chahar helped ensure Punjab's innings never got going as they were restricted to 106-8.

    He finished with 4-13 from four overs, including one maiden, Punjab never getting to grips with a challenging surface in Mumbai.

    Faf du Plessis (36 not out) and Moeen Ali (46) combined for 66 to help CSK ease to their target with 26 balls to spare, winning by six wickets.

    Mayank Agarwal went for a two-ball duck to Chahar in the opening over, misjudging a wondrous delivery that pinged the top off-stump.

    A direct hit from Ravindra Jadeja saw KL Rahul run out before the West Indian pair of Chris Gayle (10) and Nicholas Pooran (0) each fell to Chahar before the end of the powerplay.

    Deepak Hooda tamely chipped to mid-off for Chahar's fourth wicket, leaving Punjab on 26-5 in the seventh over.

    Shahrukh Khan's 36-ball 47, which included two sixes, at least made sure Punjab had something to defend, but a lack of support from the lower order meant the target was always one well within CSK's grasp.

    Moeen and Du Plessis extinguished any hopes of Punjab claiming an unlikely win, their second-wicket stand allowing the Super Kings to coast to victory despite a 15th-over blitz from Mohammed Shami that saw Suresh Raina and Ambati Rayudu dismissed.

    Chahar makes mark on landmark appearance

    Chahar let out a huge roar when he castled Agarwal and he had every right to do so after producing a delivery that nipped away from middle stump to deceive the opener.

    The subsequent dismissals owed more to a fine catch from Jadeja to get rid of Gayle and batting errors from Pooran and Hooda, but nothing should be taken away from Chahar after he tilted the game firmly in CSK's favour.

    Moeen gets things moving

    Moeen and Du Plessis showed Punjab how to bat on the surface with an excellent partnership, the England all-rounder's 46 coming off 31 deliveries, his strike rate of 148.38 the best in the contest.

    He recorded seven fours and one maximum, with Du Plessis' sole six coming off a scoop shot in the fourth over. The South African was still in at the end when Sam Curran wrapped things up after a brief wobble.

  • Fakhar and Nawaz help Pakistan fend off South Africa for series triumph Fakhar and Nawaz help Pakistan fend off South Africa for series triumph

    Pakistan sealed a 3-1 triumph over South Africa in their Twenty20 series despite almost matching a wretched batting collapse by the hosts in the Centurion finale.

    The Proteas slumped from 109-2 to 144 all out amid a display of artless batsmanship to set Pakistan just a modest victory target, yet the chasing side almost threw away the match with an implosion of their own.

    Eventually they won by three wickets with one ball to spare, Fakhar Zaman smashing 60 from 34 balls and Mohammad Nawaz clinching victory with a six when just two runs were required.

    Babar Azam's century had spurred Pakistan to a nine-wicket win in the third game of this four-match series, but where that contest, also at Centurion, was a run-fest, with both teams topping 200, this time South Africa were masters of their own downfall.

    Aiden Markram came into the match behind three successive T20 fifties, attempting to be only the third player, after Brendon McCullum and Chris Gayle, to make four in a row.

    He was the first batsman to be dismissed, however, lbw to Nawaz, and although Janneman Malan (33) and Rassie van der Dussen (52) then put on 57 for the second wicket, there was little other resistance to be found among the South Africa batsmen.

    Faheem Ashraf tormented the top order for figures of 3-17 in four overs, while Hasan Ali rebounded well from being carted for 29 in his opening two overs, finishing with 3-40.

    In Pakistan's reply, Fakhar came to the crease after Mohammad Rizwan slumped to a first-over stumping, and the left-hander soon set about the home attack, crunching five fours and four sixes before being caught as a wild swipe at Lizaad Williams sent the ball skywards.

    His departure triggered the second heavy flurry of wickets in the match, Pakistan sliding from 92-1 to 129-7, needing someone to find some composure.

    Nawaz was that man, first punishing Sisanda Magala for delivering two consecutive no-balls in the penultimate over, flogging his second free hit over the ropes. In a nervy final over, Nawaz (25 not out) picked off Williams from the fifth ball, pulling square over the boundary for the winning runs.

    Chaos reigns

    A contest littered with chaotic cricket was perhaps best summed up by the first delivery of the ninth over in Pakistan's reply. Tabraiz Shamsi's delivery was short, sat up and called for severe punishment. Even so, Fakhar looked sure to miss out on a boundary as George Linde moved to sweep up inside the boundary. Yet Linde inexplicably failed to get his body in the way of the ball. Really rather poor all round.

    Hasan heroic

    While Faheem and Haris Rauf (2-18) kept it supremely tight throughout their spells, the same could not be said for Hasan, who came in for some brutal early treatment. It takes sporting courage and skill to rebound from two horror overs, and he demonstrated such attributes by taking three wickets in his next two sets of six, including that of Magala from his final delivery.

  • Kesrick Williams engineers great  comeback in eSports series Kesrick Williams engineers great comeback in eSports series

    The third match of the Hero CPL Esports series was a topsy-turvy affair with the Kesrick Williams of the St Lucia Zouks emerging victorious against Sheldon Cottrell of St Kitts & Nevis Patriots after a brilliant come back with the ball.

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.