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Pakistan Suffer Another Defeat as New Zealand Seal Series 4-0

Pakistan’s dismal tour of New Zealand continued as they lost the fourth T20I by seven wickets in Christchurch on Friday, giving the hosts an unassailable 4-0 lead in the five-match series.

Pakistan, who were put into bat by New Zealand, posted a respectable total of 158 for 5, thanks to a brilliant unbeaten 90 by Mohammad Rizwan. The wicketkeeper-batsman smashed six fours and two sixes in his 63-ball knock, and shared a 51-run stand with Babar Azam (19) for the second wicket.

However, Pakistan’s innings lacked momentum and firepower, as they managed only 21 runs in the last two overs. Mohammad Nawaz provided some late flourish with three sixes off Adam Milne in the 19th over, but he fell for 21 off nine balls in the final over. Lockie Ferguson and Matt Henry were the pick of the bowlers for New Zealand, taking two wickets each.

New Zealand’s chase got off to a shaky start, as they lost three wickets for 20 runs in the third over. Shaheen Afridi, who was leading Pakistan for the first time in T20Is, struck thrice in his opening spell, removing Finn Allen (8), Tim Seifert (0) and Will Young (4).

However, Pakistan’s hopes of a comeback were dashed by a superb partnership between Glenn Phillips and Daryl Mitchell, who added 139 runs in 93 balls for the fourth wicket. Phillips scored 70 off 52 balls, while Mitchell made 72 off 44 balls, as they took the attack to the Pakistan bowlers and reached the target with 11 balls to spare.

Phillips hit five fours and three sixes, while Mitchell smashed seven fours and two sixes, as they displayed a range of shots and ran hard between the wickets. Pakistan’s bowling lacked discipline and penetration, as they failed to create any pressure on the New Zealand batsmen.

The match was played amid a Covid scare, as New Zealand opener Devon Conway and bowling coach Andre Adams tested positive for the virus on the eve of the game. Conway was replaced by Will Young, while Chad Bowes was added to the squad as cover. Spinner Mitch Santner, who had missed the first T20I due to Covid, returned to the side as captain, replacing the injured Kane Williamson. Milne also came in for his 50th T20I, replacing Ish Sodhi.

Pakistan made one change to their playing XI, bringing in Sahibzada Farhan for Azam Khan. Farhan, who was making his T20I debut, scored 10 off 13 balls, before being run out by a direct hit from Chapman.

The result meant that New Zealand extended their winning streak in T20Is to 12 matches, while Pakistan suffered their fourth consecutive defeat in the format. The fifth and final T20I will be played at the same venue on Sunday.

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