New Zealand’s O’Rourke Shines as Pakistan’s Fakhar Falls Short in T20 Clash

New Zealand vs Pakistan T20

Lahore, April 25, 2024: In a thrilling contest at the Gaddafi Stadium, New Zealand clinched a nail-biting victory against Pakistan by a slender margin of four runs, securing a 2-1 lead in the T20I series.

The standout performer of the match, William O’Rourke, showcased his prowess with the ball, claiming three crucial wickets for 27 runs in his spell of four overs. Partner-in-crime, Ben Sears, also made a significant contribution, bagging two wickets for 27 runs to stifle Pakistan’s chase, restricting them to 174 for eight while defending New Zealand’s total of 178 for seven.

Fakhar Zaman spearheaded Pakistan’s pursuit with a blistering 61 off 45 deliveries, but his valiant effort fell short as New Zealand’s bowlers held their nerve in the tense final overs. Despite a late surge from Imad Wasim, who smashed an unbeaten 22 off 11 balls, Pakistan couldn’t seal the deal.

The chase boiled down to Pakistan needing 18 runs from the last over, followed by a daunting 14 runs off the final four balls, culminating in a dramatic finale where they required six runs off the last delivery.

Fakhar Zaman’s innings was laced with four boundaries and three sixes, forming vital partnerships with Iftikhar Ahmed (23) and Shadab Khan to keep Pakistan’s hopes alive.

Earlier, New Zealand posted a competitive total of 178 for seven, anchored by Tim Robinson’s maiden half-century in T20Is. Robinson’s 51 off 36 balls, supported by contributions from Tom Blundell (28) and Dean Foxcroft (34), provided the platform for New Zealand’s innings.

Despite Mohammad Abbas Afridi’s impressive spell of three for 20, which accounted for key wickets including Robinson, Michael Bracewell, and Josh Clarkson, New Zealand managed to put up a challenging score.

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With the series poised at 2-1, anticipation builds for the series-decider scheduled for Saturday, set to commence at 7:30 PM.

Brief scores:

New Zealand 178-7, 20 overs (Tim Robinson 51, Dean Foxcroft 38, Tom Blundell 28, Michael Bracewell 27; Mohammad Abbas Afridi 3-20)

Pakistan 174-8, 20 overs (Fakhar Zaman 61, Iftikhar Ahmed 23, Imad Wasim 22 not out, Saim Ayub 20; William O’Rourke 3-27, Ben Sears 2-27)

Player of the match – William O’Rourke (New Zealand)

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