Babar, Shadab guide Pakistan to a convincing win over New Zealand

By our correspondent
CHRISTCHURCH: Babar Azam led from the front to guide Pakistan to a facile six-wicket win over New Zealand in their second round fixture of the Tri-Series here at the Christchurch Cricket Stadium on Saturday.
Babar struck a solid 79 not out to enable Pakistan chase the 148-run target with ten balls to spare after losing four wickets in the process.
Babar, who scored his 28th fifty of his T20 career, cracked 11 fours in his 53-ball knock.
After losing Mohammad Rizwan (4) and Shan Masood (0) early, Babar carried most of the batting load and stayed until the end to bring in the second successive victory  for his side in the event after having beaten Bangladesh the other day.
Pakistan made an experiment by sending Shadab Khan at No4 and that worked as the all-rounder smashed a brisk 22-ball 34 with two fours and two sixes to make the chase easier.
Shadab, who was removed by Tickner, added vital 61 runs for the third wicket with Babar.
Mohammad Nawaz made a 19-ball 16 with two fours while Haider Ali struck one six and one four off two balls he faced to leave a good impression in the end.
Right-arm medium pacer Blair Tickner, who conceded 21 runs in the 18th over, got 2-42 while Tim Southee (1-24) and Trent Boult (1-22) were the other successful bowlers.
Earlier after deciding to bat first New Zealand lost their opener Finn Allen early when he was held by Mohammad Waseem Junior off his own bowling for an eight-ball 13.
Devon Conway (36) and Kane Williamson (31) shared a useful 61-run partnership for the second wicket which paved the way for New Zealand to pile up a decent total.
Mohammad Nawaz, the left-arm spinner, broke the stand when he had Conway, held by Haider Ali, Conway hammered two sixes and two fours from 35 balls. Nawaz then had Williamson who struck just one four from 30 balls.
Glenn Phillips then scored a 17-ball 18 and shared 42 for the fourth wicket association with Mark Chapman who scored a rapid 16-ball 32, striking three fours and two sixes.
In the last four overs Pakistan kept the hosts under check and were restricted to 147-8. Haris Rauf was the star performer with the ball by claiming 3-28 in his quota of four overs. Mohammad Waseem (2-20) and Mohammad Nawaz (2-44) also did a fine job with the leather.
Babar was adjudged as man of the match. Earlier Pakistan went unchanged. Alex Wharf and Shaun Haig supervised the match.

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