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ENG v PAK (W) (1)
2nd T20I (N), Rawalpindi, April 20, 2024, New Zealand tour of Pakistan
(12.1/20 ov, T:91) 92/3

Pakistan won by 7 wickets (with 47 balls remaining)

Player Of The Match
Cricinfo's MVP
74.06 ptsImpact List

Afridi and Amir set up one-sided Pakistan win over New Zealand

New Zealand, playing with a second-string side with many of their top players unavailable, only put up 90 after being asked to bat first

Himanshu Agrawal
Mohammad Amir and Shaheen Shah Afridi dominated the powerplay, Pakistan vs New Zealand, 2nd T20I, Rawalpindi, April 20, 2024

Mohammad Amir and Shaheen Shah Afridi dominated the powerplay  •  AFP/Getty Images

Pakistan 92 for 3 (Rizwan 45*, Lister 1-10) beat New Zealand 90 (Chapman 19, Afridi 3-13, Amir 2-13, Abrar 2-15, Shadab 2-15) by seven wickets
Two contrasting T20 innings were played on the two sides of the border on Thursday evening. One where the ball seemed to hit the sweet spot of the bat virtually each time. The other where the ball didn't seem to find the middle of the bat at all.
In Delhi, in an IPL game between Delhi Capitals and Sunrisers Hyderabad, T20 batting records were smashed. In Rawalpindi, New Zealand folded for 90, which was 42 fewer than what Sunrisers hit in just sixes. The ball stopped or gripped or turned off the pitch in Rawalpindi, as Pakistan's quick bowlers and spinners feasted on a bowler-friendly pitch. Shaheen Shah Afridi, who had started the party for Pakistan, finished with 3 for 13. Two wickets each went to comeback man Mohammad Amir, first-timer Abrar Ahmed, and Shadab Khan.
Mohammad Rizwan then led Pakistan's chase with 45 not out in 34 balls, and brushed New Zealand aside with 47 balls and seven wickets to spare.

Shaheen and Amir have a party

Pakistan won the toss and opted to bowl. They had the perfect mix of bowlers - having Afridi and Amir bowling in tandem can do that. As if that was not enough, there was a fantastic piece of fielding to get them going. Shadab, placed at backward point, dived low to his right to pouch Tim Seifert in the third over for Pakistan's first wicket. Afridi had slowed his pace down, and Seifert, in an attempt to flick, lost his bottom hand and got a leading edge. Shadab did the rest.
That was just the start.
Next over, Amir, who was bowling for Pakistan for the first time since August 2020, repeated the trick. He took pace off to fox Tim Robinson, who ended up spooning the ball to short cover off the toe-end of the bat. A duck on debut two days back. Just 4 in his second game.
Dean Foxcroft and Mark Chapman briefly calmed things down with a pulled six and a clipped four, respectively. But Amir prevented New Zealand from gaining any momentum when he had Foxcroft lofting to mid-off for 13. New Zealand ended the powerplay at 35 for 3, and never recovered from the early blows.

Pace off, and spin's in for Pakistan

Sensing the slowness of the surface, Babar Azam introduced spin immediately after the powerplay. He bowled Shadab, Abrar and part-time offspinner Iftikhar Ahmed for seven overs in a row. That period gave Pakistan three wickets, and New Zealand managed only 34 runs.
While Abrar had started with a flat trajectory, he noticed Iftikhar slow it down and toss it up, and followed the lead. Chapman found fine leg with his attempted sweep to start the ninth over.
Two balls later, James Neesham kept waiting for a 73kph delivery to arrive, it almost didn't, and when it did, Neesham swung but found midwicket.
Not to be left behind, Shadab varied his pace to go a lot quicker to Michael Bracewell to start the 12th over. Bracewell reverse swept, but the length wasn't full enough. He found short third, as 49 for 3 became 59 for 6.
Amid all that, what brought about giggles on the Pakistani faces was Ish Sodhi's wicket.
Shadab bowled really short on leg while slowing it down, and Sodhi was already through with his bat swing before the ball got to him. It turned a bit and hit him on his thigh pad. Pakistan appealed and umpire Aleem Dar turned it down. But Babar reviewed and got it overturned, leaving even the umpire with a wry smile.

Rizwan takes Pakistan home

The leading edge made its way into Pakistan's innings as early as the second ball when Saim Ayub, looking to turn Ben Lister off his hips, ended up sending a return catch.
But Babar and Rizwan ensured Pakistan didn't lose their way. Rizwan drove Lister first ball for four, while Babar punched Jacob Duffy to the off-side boundary soon after.
Only 14 came off the first three overs, before both batters attacked Ben Sears. Rizwan pulled and drove him for six and four respectively, and Babar flicked him for four too.
But Babar was stumped off Bracewell when he tried to be too ambitious and came down the track to his counterpart.
The target wasn't really enough to test Pakistan, though, and Rizwan ticked away steadily at one end, even as he lost Usman Khan for 7. Irfan Khan joined Rizwan, who pushed the ball around before ending the game with a slog sweep for four to deep midwicket.
The result gave Pakistan a 1-0 lead in the five-match series, with the next game again in Rawalpindi on Sunday evening.

Himanshu Agrawal is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Win Probability
PAK 100%
100%50%100%NZ InningsPAK Innings

Over 13 • PAK 92/3

Pakistan won by 7 wickets (with 47 balls remaining)
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