PAK VS NZ 2023: Pakistan secures 38-run win over NZ in 2nd T20I . Babar Azam scored a brilliant unbeaten century to help his side clinch their second consecutive win over New Zealand in the five-match T20I series with a 38-run victory at Lahore’s Gaddafi Stadium on Saturday.
The victory came after Pakistan won the toss and elected to bat, posting a total of 192-4 in their allotted 20 overs. In reply, the Kiwis were restricted to 154-7 in 20 overs, with only Mark Chapman offering some resistance during the run chase with his score of 65 runs in 40 balls.
Haris Rauf was the standout bowler for Pakistan, taking four wickets for 27 runs in four overs. Pakistan now leads the series 2-0 after a victory in the first T20I on Friday at the same venue. New Zealand captain Kane Williamson was absent due to a knee injury, leaving the captaincy to Tom Latham, providing an opportunity for new players to shine.
Despite missing eight players due to their commitments in the Indian Premier League, New Zealand made two changes for the second T20I, with Henry Shipley replacing Adam Milne and Cole McConchie taking the place of Ish Sodhi, who has a calf niggle. Meanwhile, Pakistan remained unchanged for the contest.
The remaining three T20 matches of the series will be played on April 17 in Lahore and on April 20 and 24 in Rawalpindi. After the T20 series, Pakistan and New Zealand will also face off in five one-day internationals, as part of their preparations for the upcoming 50-over World Cup in India. The tour is a compensation for New Zealand pulling out of their scheduled visit to Pakistan on the day of the first game in September 2021, citing security concerns. However, the Black Caps played two Tests and three ODIs in Pakistan just three months ago.
“I am very happy to perform in this match,” said Azam, who is now the joint most successful T20I captain with 42 wins, alongside England´s Eoin Morgan and Afghanistan´s Asghar Afghan. “I had two good partnerships and then our bowling was once again excellent. We have got experienced and exciting young bowlers who gave us back-to-back wins.”
In his innings, Azam smashed a six and two fours in the last over to reach his third T20I century, becoming only the sixth batter to do so in the shortest format at international level. Azam put on 99 for the opening wicket with Mohammad Rizwan, who scored 50 off 34 balls. Azam, whose knock included 11 fours and three sixes, then added 87 for the fifth wicket with Iftikhar Ahmed, who finished 33 not out as the home team added 65 runs in the last five overs.
Mark Chapman scored a battling 65 not out for New Zealand featuring four fours and as many sixes, but lost partners at regular intervals after the tourists made a decent start. Chad Bowes (26) and skipper Tom Latham (19) put on 44 for the first wicket in 6.2 overs, but as the asking rate soared New Zealand´s chase lost steam.
“We have been there or thereabouts but weren´t able to finish the innings off, both with the ball and bat,” said Latham. “When Babar plays like that, you tip your hat off.”