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New Zealand Secures Victory by Seven Wickets After Pakistan Sets Target of 179 Runs

In the third T20I clash between Pakistan and New Zealand, hosted at Rawalpindi’s Pindi Cricket Stadium on Sunday, Pakistan’s batters exhibited commendable resistance against the Kiwis’ bowlers, setting a challenging target of 179 runs. Despite Pakistan’s determined effort, New Zealand ultimately clinched victory by seven wickets in a thrilling encounter.

Winning the toss, Pakistan elected to bat first, aiming to establish a formidable total to defend and secure a 2-0 lead in the five-match T20I series. The hosts got off to a promising start with Saim Ayub dominating the visitors alongside Babar Azam, as the opening duo posted 54 runs without losing a wicket. However, Saim’s innings was cut short when he was caught by James Neesham off Ish Sodhi’s bowling after scoring a brisk 32 runs from 22 balls.

Babar Azam, showcasing his prowess, looked set for a big score before being dismissed by Michael Bracewell, caught by Jacob Duffy, after contributing 37 runs from 29 deliveries. Mohammad Rizwan, who showed promising form, unfortunately had to retire hurt after scoring 23 runs from 22 balls, with Irfan Khan stepping in as his replacement. However, Usman Khan’s brief stint at the crease saw him departing after adding just 4 runs from 6 balls.

Irfan Khan, joined by all-rounder Shadab Khan, ignited Pakistan’s innings with an explosive partnership, dominating the proceedings. The duo’s 62-run partnership saw Shadab smashing 41 runs off 20 balls, including six boundaries, while Irfan contributed a valuable 30 runs from 20 deliveries, including three fours and a six. Despite their efforts, New Zealand’s experienced spinner Ish Sodhi emerged as the pick of the bowlers, finishing with figures of 2/25.

Pakistan made a strategic change from their winning side in the second T20I, replacing Mohammad Amir with Abbas Afridi. Conversely, New Zealand introduced Zak Foulkes and Will O’Rourke into the playing XI, opting for their skills over Jacob Duffy and Ben Sears, respectively.

In the chase, New Zealand displayed resilience and skill, confidently pursuing Pakistan’s target. With seven wickets in hand, they secured victory, underscoring their dominance in the match and leveling the series.

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