By our correspondent
CHRISTCHURCH: Mohammad Nawaz and Haider Ali shared a crucial stand to enable Pakistan down New Zealand by five wickets and so sealed the tri-series here at the Christchurch Stadium on Friday.
Chasing 164, Pakistan required 90 runs in just 51 balls when Mohammad Rizwan fell for 34 off 29 balls which featured four fours. However at this stage Haider joined Nawaz and the duo shared a quick-fire 56 in just 26 balls which helped Pakistan down the asking run-rate and in the end Iftikhar Ahmed did a fine job by scoring a 14-ball 25 not out to achieve the target with three balls to spare after losing five wickets in the process.
Haider smashed two sixes and three fours in his fiery 15-ball 31, an innings which might have restored confidence in him just ahead of the T20 World Cup which will begin in just a few days in Australia.
Nawaz, who stayed until the end, struck three sixes and two fours in his 22-ball 38 not out, which also earned for him man of the match award. Nawaz-Iftikhar sixth wicket partnership remained 36 which came in 20 balls.
Earlier, Mohammad Rizwan and Babar Azam (15) provided a 29-run first-wicket stand when Babar was dismissed by Michael Bracewell after he went for a big shot.
Shan Masood chipped in with a 21-ball 19 with two fours. Off the last over Pakistan needed four runs and Iftikhar smashed a six off Blair Tickner to bring in a fine win.
Bracewell, the off-spinner, was the pick of the bowlers with 2-14 in his quota of four overs. Tim Southee (1-33), Blair Tickner (1-33) and Ish Sodhi (1-58) were the other wicket-takers.
After being invited to bat first skipper Kane Williamson did a fine job with a solid 38-ball 59 to enable the hosts score 163-7. Kane, who hit four fours and two sixes, added 50 in 37 balls for the third wicket stand with Glenn Phillips who scored a 22-ball 29, striking one six and one four.
Kane then added 37 in 26 balls for the fourth wicket association with Mark Chapman who belted a 19-ball 25, hammering two fours and a six. James Neesham, in the end, made a brisk ten-ball 17 with one six and one four. Earlier, New Zealand lost their openers Finn Allen (12) and Devon Conway (14) early.
Haris Rauf was the most impressive bowler as he claimed 2-22 in four overs. Naseem Shah got 2-38 in four overs. Michael Bracewell was declared as man of the series for his excellent bowling.