New Zealand defeated Pakistan by 21 runs in the second Twenty20 international on Sunday, taking a 2-0 series lead. Pace bowler Adam Milne took four wickets.
After Babar Azam and Fakhar Zaman hit half-centuries, the visitors squandered away a solid position in their run chase, being bowled for 173 in the penultimate over in response to New Zealand’s 194-8.
Victory came at a cost for the Black Caps, whose skipper Kane Williamson was injured during batting and will be out for the duration of the five-match series.
The encounter mirrored New Zealand’s 46-run victory in the first match on Friday in Auckland, with their attack taking wickets at regular intervals to deny Pakistan a footing in their pursuit.
However, the mark seemed to be within reach until Fakhar was bowled by Milne in the 10th over for a power-packed 50 from 25 balls, leaving Pakistan 97-3.
From there, they labored, with only Babar posing a danger until he was caught off Ben Sears for 66.
Milne concluded with 4-33 after previously dismissing the dangerous Mohammad Rizwan as Pakistan lost both openers for only 10 runs.
New Zealand were allowed to bat first once again, and Finn Allen took on the visitors’ attack, smashing five sixes in his 74-ball innings to dominate.
At 111 for one at the halfway stage, the Black Caps suffered a big blow when Williamson was forced to retire injured for 26.
There will be concerns that this is a continuation of the senior captain’s recent string of injuries.
A long-standing knee injury kept the 33-year-old out of both white ball matches against Bangladesh at home in December.
Allen batted in his customary big-hitting style till he was bowled by leg-spinner Usama Mir.
New Zealand’s remaining hitters struggled, with fast bowler Haris Rauf, who finished with 3-38, especially effective in the last overs.
The only change from the Auckland encounter was spinner Mitchell Santner replacing seamer Matt Henry, while Pakistan played the same lineup.