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New Zealand beat Pakistan by four runs in 4th T20I

New Zealand beat Pakistan by four runs in 4th T20I

Cricket

William O’Rourke claimed three wickets while Ben Sears took two wickets

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LAHORE (Dunya News) – New Zealand defeated Pakistan by four runs to secure 2-1 lead in five-match T20I series at Gaddafi Stadium, Lahore.

Pakistan’s top order, including skipper Babar Azam, failed to make a strong start, increasing pressure on the team. At this point, Fakhar Zaman played a heroic innings of 61 off 45 but it went vain as other players could not perform up to the mark.

William O’Rourke claimed three wickets while Ben Sears took two wickets, restricting Pakistan to 174.

Earlier, New Zealand set a challenging target of 179 runs for Pakistan after they were put to bat first by the hosts. 

Tim Robinson and Tom Blundells built a strong opening stand as they made 51 and 28, respectively. After Blundells was dismissed by Zaman Khan, Dean Foxcroft maintained the momentum of putting score on the board as he smashed 34 off 26. 

After Robinson was sent to pavilion, the Kiwis lost two middle order wickets in quick sessions before James Neesham and Michael Bracewell attempted to stitch a partnership to boost the total.

However, their partnership was broken apart by Abbas Afridi, who dismissed Bracewell for 27.

Afridi claimed three wickets while Zaman Khan, Usama Mir and Iftikhar Ahmed took one wicket each.

Babar Azam's presser 

Addressing a press conference here on Wednesday, skipper Babar Azam sounded optimistic about the series.

After losing his opening partner, Babar is likely to be joined by Saim Ayub at the top. Usman Khan will assume the role of Rizwan, who is out with a hamstring injury. 

Fakhar Zaman and Imad Wasim will play their first match of the series. The middle order will include all-rounders Shadab Khan and Iftikhar Ahmed, while Usama Mir will replace Abrar Ahmed. 

There’s likelihood of resting Naseem Shah as he could not perform in previous matches. Shaheen Shah Afridi, Mohammad Amir and Abbas Afridi will make up the pace attack. 

Meanwhile, New Zealand are likely to retain the same squad that defeated Pakistan in the previous match.