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3rd T20I (N), Rawalpindi, April 21, 2024, New Zealand tour of Pakistan
(18.2/20 ov, T:179) 179/3

New Zealand won by 7 wickets (with 10 balls remaining)

Player Of The Match
87* (42)
Cricinfo's MVP
130.89 ptsImpact List

Stunning Chapman onslaught helps New Zealand make it 1-1

His unbeaten 42-ball 87 made light work of Pakistan's 178 as New Zealand won by seven wickets

Danyal Rasool
Danyal Rasool
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

Mark Chapman hammered an unbeaten 87 off 42 balls  •  Associated Press

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
It doesn't seem to matter who turns up for New Zealand, the series they play in Pakistan invariably turn out to be competitive. After a below-par performance in the second T20I, a Mark Chapman-inspired New Zealand side brushed past Pakistan in the third to level the series 1-1. Chapman finished with an unbeaten 87 off just 42 balls as he made light work of the 178 Pakistan had put up, with New Zealand getting there with ten balls and seven wickets to spare.

Chapman picks up from where he left last April

Chapman was New Zealand's most impressive performer when a similarly under-strength side visited in April 2023, and had little trouble picking up from where he had left off.
New Zealand had begun brightly with the big-hitting Tim Seifert and Tim Robinson, but lost both in the space of seven balls to Abbas Afridi and Naseem Shah, respectively. At that point, with inexperience to follow and a battery of impressive bowling options for Babar Azam, the chase felt in severe danger of being going off course.
But Chapman demonstrated that his ability extended beyond power hitting, as he set about taking apart the dangerous duo of Shadab Khan and Abrar Ahmed. He understood the target wasn't huge enough to require reckless slogging and manipulated the field to pick boundaries in three successive overs the two bowled. There was a slice of fortune when Naseem fluffed a fairly simple chance off a miscued sweep, and it resulted in the batter going back into his shell for a stray Iftikhar Ahmed over.
The reprieve ended up costing Pakistan dearly. Iftikhar was shown no such respect when he came back on, smashed for a huge six back over his head and, as Chapman steered New Zealand towards Pakistan's total with chanceless inevitability, the flair in his game began to shine through, too. For he wouldn't just get New Zealand to their target, but land a psychological blow by decimating their two prized fast bowlers.
Shaheen Shah Afridi was the first to bear the brunt, as two boundaries and a six in the 15th over brought the asking rate below nine. Babar brought his ace Naseem back in immediately, but a worse fate awaited him. A carved six, a carved four, a straight six, and a pulled four. That's how his first four balls went in a 23-run over, plunging the required rate to under a run a ball.
It's perhaps obligatory to say at this point that Dean Foxcroft was an able understudy, but in truth, this was a one-man chase. Just two boundaries came off Foxcroft's bat in a 117-run partnership, and while Foxcroft struggled to keep his strike rate over 100, Chapman finished at more than double that. Pakistan will rightly reflect on the quality of their death bowling, but the fact that all it took was a solo effort to hunt down what they managed raises the question about the adequacy of that first-innings total.

New Zealand bowlers stymie Pakistan's progress

Pakistan were put in to bat on a pitch Babar said was the typical batting-friendly strip Rawalpindi is known for, in stark contrast to Saturday's surface. But the approach Pakistan took to setting a target was muddled at best. Saim Ayub got the side off to his trademark flyer, but in Zak Foulkes, Ish Sodhi and Will O'Rourke, New Zealand kept finding bowlers to sneak in tight overs and stymie Pakistan's momentum.
That was especially true once Ayub fell, and Babar and Mohammad Rizwan came together two balls after the powerplay ended. Overs six to 11 saw New Zealand allow just 36 runs as the momentum Pakistan had built faded, with Rizwan, in particular, unable to find the gaps he so cannily does in the powerplay. He would go off shortly after with a hamstring injury, while captain Michael Bracewell coaxed a false shot from Babar to send him on his way.

Shadab provides impetus to the innings

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 Khan, 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.
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.

Danyal Rasool is ESPNcricinfo's Pakistan correspondent. @Danny61000

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

Over 19 • NZ 179/3

New Zealand won by 7 wickets (with 10 balls remaining)
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