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New Zealand draws level with Chapman’s quickfire 87*

New Zealand draws level with Chapman’s quickfire 87*

Pakistan was beaten by New Zealand by seven wickets in the third T20I at Rawalpindi, leveling the five-match T20I series 1-1. Batting first, the hosts posted a solid 178/4 from their 20 overs, with contributions coming from their top-order and a Shadab Khan 20-ball cameo of 41 towards the end. However, New Zealand, led by Chapman, overhauled the target with 10 balls to spare.

Pakistan chose to bat first and had a brisk partnership between Babar Azam (37 off 29) and Saim Ayub (32 off 22) before Ish Sodhi got the visitors the first breakthrough, breaking the stand at 55. Azam continued with Rizwan, who later retired hurt on 22. New Zealand broke the momentum with two quick wickets, dismissing Azam and wicketkeeper-bat Usman Khan in the space of 17 balls.

However, Irfan Khan joined Shadab, and together the pair provided the much-needed impetus with a 62-run partnership for the fourth wicket, taking Pakistan past the 150-mark. Shadab was the aggressor, hitting a couple of sixes and four boundaries in his 20-ball 41, while Irfan made an unbeaten 30 in a similar number of deliveries.

New Zealand Win by 7 wickets

Chasing Pakistan’s 178/4, New Zealand’s openers also gave the team a brisk start before falling six balls apart in the last two overs of the powerplay. Chapman then took charge, forging a 117-run partnership with Dean Foxcroft, who played the role of spectator. Chapman dismantled the bowling with his aggressive batting, hitting four sixes and nine boundaries in his 42-ball innings. He notched up a 29-ball half-century en route and took his team over the finish line on the second ball of the penultimate over.

Brief scores: Pakistan 178/4 in 20 overs (Shadab Khan 41, Babar Azam 37; Ish Sodhi 2-25) lost to New Zealand 179/3 in 18.2 overs (Mark Chapman 87*; Abbas Afridi 2-27) by 7 wickets

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