Stunning Chapman onslaught helps New Zealand make it 1-1

New Zealand

Shadab Khan scored a quick 20-ball 41 to lift PakistanAssociated Press

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 befitting such a pitch 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 departed 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 up 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 the Pakistan captain to send him on his way.

Shadab provides impetus to the innings

Pakistan would meander for another couple of overs, but it was Shadab Khan’s introduction that injected purpose into Pakistan’s innings. By now, the run rate had slipped to 8.07, but a couple of boundaries of his first four balls set the wheels in motion for an innings where he flew to 41 off 20. Alongside Irfan Niazi, 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 flak 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