May 27, 2024

 AFP, RAWALPINDI:  All-rounder Shadab Khan and skipper Babar Azam led Pakistan to 178-4 in the third Twenty20 international against New Zealand in Rawalpindi on Sunday.

Shadab hit a 20-ball 41 with two sixes and four boundaries while Azam scored a 29-ball 37 after Pakistan were sent in to bat by New Zealand on a flat Pindi Stadium pitch.

Opener Saim Ayub scored a robust 22-ball 32 and Muhammad Irfan Khan chipped in with a 20-ball 30 not out as Pakistan added 54 in the last five overs.

Azam and left-hander Ayub gave Pakistan a brisk start of 55 as the duo played some aggressive shots.

Shadab and Irfan boosted the innings with a brisk 62-run stand for the fourth wicket.

For New Zealand, leg-spinner Ish Sodhi was the best bowler with 2-25.

Pakistan lead the five-match series 1-0 after winning the second game by seven wickets while the first match was washed out after just two balls — both also in Rawalpindi.

The final two matches are in Lahore on April 25 and 27.

Both teams are preparing for June’s Twenty20 World Cup to be held in the United States and the West Indies.


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