PAK vs NZ 3rd T20I at Rawalpindi: New Zealand wins over Pakistan by 7 wickets

New Zealand 179 for 3 (Chapman 87*, Foxcroft 31, Abbas 2-27) beat Pakistan 178 for 4 (Shadab 41, Babar 37, Sodhi 2-25) by seven wickets

Once more, though, New Zealand found a way to have the final say, with Jacob Duffy and Foulkes managing a pair of tight final overs that kept Pakistan below 180. Pakistan might have felt it was enough against an enfeebled New Zealand side, but as is often the case in T20 cricket, there are few hiding places for below-par totals.

The third T20I between Pakistan and New Zealand at the Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium served as a thrilling reminder of the competitive fire that often ignites when these two sides meet in Pakistan. Just a day after a disappointing loss in the second game, New Zealand bounced back in emphatic fashion, securing a seven-wicket victory to level the five-match series at 1-1. The hero of the hour was the unlikely figure of Mark Chapman, whose breathtaking knock put Pakistan’s total of 178 runs to shame.

Chapman’s Scintillating Innings:

Mark Chapman hammered an unbeaten 87 off 42 balls to help New Zealand make it 1-1, Pakistan vs New Zealand, 3rd T20I, Rawalpindi, April 21, 2024

After a shaky start that saw New Zealand lose their openers early, Mark Chapman walked to the crease with his team under pressure. However, what unfolded next was a masterclass in power hitting. Chapman unleashed a whirlwind innings of 87 runs off just 42 balls, peppering the boundary with nine fours and four sixes. His aggressive stroke play and ability to find gaps at will left the Pakistani bowling attack with no answers.

He anchored the chase alongside Dean Foxcroft (31) and ensured New Zealand reached the target with 10 balls and seven wickets remaining. This dominant performance earned him a well-deserved Player of the Match award.

The hero of the match was undoubtedly Mark Chapman. Coming off a disappointing performance in the second T20I, Chapman displayed remarkable form, smashing an unbeaten 87 runs off just 42 deliveries. His knock was a masterclass in clean hitting, peppered with nine fours and four sixes. Chapman’s aggressive batting made light work of Pakistan’s total of 178 runs, guiding New Zealand to victory with 10 balls to spare and seven wickets in hand.

Resilience After Setback:

This victory showcased New Zealand’s remarkable ability to bounce back from setbacks. Their performance in the second T20I was far from their best, but they displayed commendable mental fortitude to come back stronger in the next match. This win underlines the depth and resilience within the New Zealand squad, where different players can step up and deliver on the big stage.

Pakistan’s Missed Opportunities:

While Pakistan managed to put up a decent total on the board, thanks to a late flourish from Shadab Khan (41), their bowling attack failed to contain the onslaught from Chapman. Early breakthroughs from Abbas Afridi (2-27) offered a glimmer of hope, but the inability to take wickets in the middle overs proved costly. The dropped catches of Chapman on three separate occasions further compounded their woes.

With the series leveled at 1-1, the upcoming matches promise to be even more exciting. Both teams will be eager to gain the upper hand and take control of the series. Pakistan will need to find ways to address their bowling weaknesses and tighten their fielding if they want to reclaim the lead. New Zealand, on the other hand, will be buoyed by Chapman’s knock and will aim to build on their momentum and secure a series victory.

Pakistan meandered for another couple of overs, and it was Shadab Khan’s introduction that injected purpose into the innings. By now, the run rate had slipped to 8.07, but a couple of boundaries off his first four balls set the wheels in motion for an innings where he flew to 41 off 20. Alongside Irfan Niazi, Pakistan began to blast their way back towards a competitive total. Perhaps cruelly for New Zealand, it was Bracewell, whose overs had reined Pakistan in so, who took the greatest hit during that whirlwind partnership as the pair smashed his final over for 19 runs.

The third T20I serves as a testament to the depth and fighting spirit of the New Zealand cricket team. Despite missing some key players and facing a strong Pakistani side, they managed to turn the tide in their favor. With the series wide open, both teams will be vying for supremacy, making this encounter a must-watch for cricket fans around the world.