Pakistan defeat New Zealand, win 11th consecutive T20I series
Pakistan have cemented their position as the top T20I side in the world. Sarfraz Ahmed's side beat New Zealand in the second T20I to seal the three-match series 2-0. This victory ensured an eleventh consecutive series win for Pakistan in the shortest format of the game. At the moment, Men in Green are playing with a lot of swagger. Here we decode Pakistan's performance.
Since Sarfraz became captain of the side in 2016, Pakistan have been an unstoppable unit in T20Is. Since then, Pakistan have beaten England (1-0), WI (3-0 and 3-1), World XI (2-1), Sri Lanka (3-0), NZ (2-1), WI (3-0), Scotland (2-0) and Australia (3-0). Pakistan also sealed a tri-series against Zimbabwe and Australia. No other team has won as many T20I series in a row.
New Zealand set up a challenging target of 154 after some key contributions from Colin Munro, Kane Williamson and Corey Anderson. But the Pakistan side never allowed them to run away with the game. 18-year-old Shaheen Afridi was a top performer for Pakistan. He picked 3/20 in his 4-over spell to thwart the Kiwis. Imad Wasim (1/25) was terrific as well.
During Pakistan's innings, all top order batsmen chipped in. Zaman, Babar Azam and Asif Ali all got to decent starts and set up the chase. But Mohammad Hafeez (34* off 21) was the pick of the lot. His two sixes and one four came at crucial moments, especially when 50 runs were needed off the last 30 deliveries.
This was also Pakistan's 8th successive T20I win in a row. The Men in Green have a 12-point rating advantage over arch-rivals India, sitting on second spot. Babar leads the number one ranking in batting with Shadab Khan grabbing the second position in bowler's rankings.