Pakistan took a 2-0 lead in the five-match T20I series against New Zealand thanks to Babar Azam's third century in T20Is. Pakistan also won the second game with a dominant score against New Zealand. Babar batted the entire Pakistan innings and helped them reach a strong 192 before the bowlers defended the total with relative ease against a second-string New Zealand team.
In fact, Pakistan made a careful start with the new ball, scoring only 29 runs in their first four overs. When Mohammad Rizwan decided to switch gears and hammered Henry Shipley for a couple of boundaries and a six to get Pakistan going, he was batting on 12 off 13. Pakistan eventually scored 59 goals on the power play. The openers continued to have fun, and both batters were trying to score runs. Rizwan, who scored another fifty in the format, attempted to loft his shot, but he mistimed it and it fell in the eleventh over.
New Zealand stunningly broke through after finding the opening. Saim Ayub also left for a duck in the subsequent over and Fakhar Zaman ended up inside-edging one onto his stumps. When Imad Wasim became the next player to leave, giving James Neesham his wicket, 99/0 quickly became 105/4. At that point in the innings, Pakistan desperately needed a comeback to reach a formidable total. Babar and Iftikhar Ahmed made the ideal team, especially with the latter scoring a six off just the third ball of his innings.
The two players gradually dismissed the energy with their combative hitting as Babar pounded Matt Henry for two sixes and a four off progressive conveyances. With four balls left in the innings, Babar's expectations of getting a 100 appeared to be disappearing with the captain actually requiring 15. However, he scored a stunning century by hitting a six, taking two, and then smashing the final two deliveries for consecutive boundaries.
In the pursuit, the guests found it extremely difficult to get rolling in the powerplay. They essentially couldn't take care of Shaheen Afridi and battled against any semblance of Imad Wasim and Zaman Khan also in the powerplay. Despite Tom Latham's two boundaries at the six-over mark, New Zealand still had only 43 on the board. After the introduction of spin, Latham was trapped lbw plumb in front, which prevented him from teeing off further.
In the middle overs, it was all one man's show once Imad Wasim got Chad Bowes out. Haris Rauf marked New Zealand big time by striking consistently. Mark Chapman's boundaries were in vain because the Pakistan pacer also made good use of his variations. Daryl Mitchell was also deceived by a slower delivery, and Will Young mistimed one to long-on. Before Chapman struck some lusty blows in the end to keep the score 38 runs lower, Haris eventually hit a four-fer.
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