Dubai: Pakistan recorded a clean 3-0 sweep over New Zealand by winning the third and final T20 match of the series by 47 runs at the Dubai International Stadium.
It was Pakistan’s ninth consecutive T20 match victory and second successive clean sweep series triumph after having thrashed Australia too by a 3-0 margin here.
Pakistan posted an impressive 166 for 3 through their consistent opener Babar Azam’s 79 runs off 58 balls with seven boundaries and two sixes. He put on 94 runs in 64 balls for the second wicket with Mohammad Hafeez, who remained unbeaten on 53 off 34 balls with four boundaries and two sixes.
New Zealand chased through their skipper Kane Williamson, who scored 60 off 38 balls with eight boundaries and two sixes but were restricted to 119 runs in 16.5 overs. Shadab Khan bagged three wickets for 30 runs backed by Imad Wasim and Waqas Maqsood with two wickets each.
Pakistan won the toss and elected to bat. Openers Fakhar Zaman and Azam did not go for the big hits right away and in the first five overs they scored 28 runs. Lockie Ferguson, who was introduced for the sixth over, ended Zaman’s knock of 11 runs forcing him to miscue a pull shot and got caught by Mark Chapman in the cover.
Mohammad Hafeez joined Azam. Pakistan’s 50 came in 8.2 overs with Azam playing some lovely well placed ground shots. Azam hit Colin de Grandhomme for two boundaries in the ninth over . At the half way mark Pakistan were 67 for 1. In the 11th over from Ish Sodhi, Hafeez hit two successive sixes.
Azam went past the 1000 run mark in T20 Internationals in mere 26 innings to become the fastest batsmen in the world to cross this mark ahead of Virat Kohli by one innings. He also recorded his half century in 43 balls.
Azam continued to unleash his shots and hit Colin Munro for two successive sixes in the 15th over. Grandhomme ended Azam’s knock of 79 when Tim Southee caught him at long on.
Shoaib Malek began with two successive boundaries off Grandhomme. Hafeez, stepping out and hitting Grandhomme for a boundary in the 19th over steered Pakistan past the 150 run mark. Hafeez and Malek added another 31 runs before Malek hit Grandhomme to Ferguson at deep square leg . Hafeez reached his half century in 32 balls off the second ball of the last over.
Chasing the score, New Zealand lost the price wicket of opener Munro in the second over for 2. Faheen Ashraf had Munro, going for a hit to mid-wicket, miss the ball completely, and had him bowled. Grandhomme and Glenn Phillips took the score to 13 when Grandhomme got run out through a direct hit by Usman Khan for 6. Skipper Kane Williamson joined Phillips took New Zealand past the 50 run mark in 8.4 overs.
At the half way New Zealand were 68 for 2 and in the 11th over . Williamson. who hit Imad Wasim for a six over mid-wicket, also hit Shadab Khan for another six over the sightscreen to reach his 50 in 30 balls. Phillips hit Usman Khan for a six but Willamson departed in the 13th over hitting Shadab Khan to Azam at long on for 60. The pair had put on 83 runs in nine overs.
Philips too fell in the same over, bowled by Shadab for 24. In the 14th over wicketkeeper Sarfraz stumped Chapman for 2 off Imad Wasim and Tim Seifert fell to the first ball from Wasim, bowled by a ball that skidded through. To make matters easy, Tim Southee got run out off a throw from Ashraf at deep mid-wicket for a duck. New Zealand lost five wickets in a span of 11 balls and when they lost Ross Taylor too for 7 to Shadab Khan, Pakistan took complete control over the match.
Pakistan bt New Zealand by 47 runs. Pakistan 166 for 3 in 20 overs (Babar Azam 79, Mohammad Hafeez 53, Colin de Grandhomme 2 for 41) New Zealand 119 in 16.5 overs (Glenn Phillips 26, Kane Williamson 60. Shadab Khan 3 for 20, Imad Wasim 2 for 28, Waqas Maqsood 2 for 21)