All-round Razzaq flattens New Zealand
Pakistan 183 for 6 (Shehzad 54, Razzaq 34*, Franklin 2-12) beat New Zealand 80 (Styris 45, Afridi 4-14, Razzaq 3-13) by 103 runs
Live scorecard and ball-by-ball details
Abdul Razzaq pummeled an 11-ball 34 to propel Pakistan to 183, before returning to flatten the New Zealand top order with the new ball, as the visitors stormed to a 103-run victory in the third Twenty20 in Christchurch. Razzaq capitalised on some inexperienced death bowling from Adam Milne to hammer 31 from the last nine deliveries of the innings, and picked up three wickets for 13 as New Zealand imploded dramatically, effectively surrendering the game within the first three overs of their chase.
The chase was derailed almost before it had begun as the top four batsmen all collected ducks. Martin Guptill began the catastrophic collapse when he edged Razzaq to point, pushing away from his body with hard hands to one that nipped away a touch. Jesse Ryder turned in his third failure of the series in the following over when he top edged a pull, and Dean Brownlie's decision to sneak a quick single to get off the mark backfired when Shahid Afridi effected a rare Pakistani direct hit. Ross Taylor was unfortunate to be adjudged lbw to one that struck him slightly above the knee roll, but didn't do himself any favours by playing all around the straight delivery. Three overs into the innings, New Zealand had lost four wickets for three runs, and when James Franklin lost his head, and his middle stump, two overs later, there was only one direction the match was heading. New Zealand had made 11 runs for the loss of five wickets from their first five overs. Pakistan were 51 for no loss at the same stage.
Styris resisted bravely, throwing his bat to collect a couple of boundaries over cover in Razzaq's last over, and even swatting a six over midwicket to give the Christchurch crowd something to cheer about, but with the required run-rate tipping 15, and wickets falling regularly at the other end, there was little he could do. Peter McGlashan dragged Abdur Rehman onto the stumps attempting to reverse sweep and Nathan McCullum didn't hang around long, succumbing to Shahid Afridi's straighter one. Styris eventually fell for 45, and Afridi wasted little time cleaning up the tail - an 134 kph arm ball to dismiss Tim Southee first ball being the highlight of his spell. Styris aside, none of the other New Zealand batsmen managed double figures. They made 28 collectively.
Pakistan's impressive total was set up by an explosive opening partnership between Ahmad Shehzad and Mohammad Hafeez, who blasted 81 in 8.4 overs to set pulses racing at the AMI stadium. Shehzad in particular, was quick to punish anything on a length, peppering the midwicket boundary repeatedly, while also driving through the covers when the ball was pitched up. Hafeez too got into the action scooping Mills over the shoulder for four, before unfurling a wristy swat that sent the ball sailing over deep square-leg a few overs later.
The introduction of slow bowling into the attack did the trick for New Zealand though, as both openers perished attempting to maintain the frenetic scoring rate, and three more wickets followed soon after. Younis Khan was run out, attempting a suicidal single, Asad Shafiq was caught on the boundary after having used up 15 deliveries for his 8 and Shahid Afridi departed for a quickfire 14.
Umar Akmal kept Pakistan ticking with some intelligent hitting, but it was Abdul Razzaq who boosted the visitors' total and swung the momentum decidedly Pakistan's way with a brutal display of power hitting. Razzaq swung in the V, launching Tim Southee twice over midwicket before taking on Milne in the last over. Razzaq smoked the short deliveries over cover, and sent the fuller ones racing along the ground to the boundary, and 19 runs came off the last five deliveries, despite Milne's best efforts to vary the pace and find the blockhole.