In a thrilling encounter at Seddon Park, Hamilton, New Zealand secured a 21-run victory over Pakistan in the second T20I of the five-match series. The hosts, led by Finn Allen’s explosive 74-run innings, posted a challenging total of 194 runs, only to witness a spirited Pakistani fightback in the latter part of the innings. Despite their efforts, Pakistan was ultimately bowled out for 173 runs, marking their second consecutive defeat in the series.
“We wanted to restrict New Zealand to 170-180 runs, but we could not take early wickets. We struggled in first 10 overs, but we came back in last overs. Unfortunately, not to be today” – Shaheen Afridi ___ #NZvsPAK #BBB24 #PAKvsNZ #______________________ #BeterbievSmith #Capta pic.twitter.com/iyXPZVroAd
— Sikander Nawaz (@SikanderNawaz15) January 14, 2024
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Afridi’s Post-Match Analysis
After the game, Pakistan’s T20I captain, Shaheen Afridi, addressed the media in a post-match presentation. Afridi expressed his disappointment, emphasizing that the early inability to secure wickets cost them the match.
“Unfortunately, we missed out on that today. If we would have taken 1 or 2 wickets then their score would have been 170 – 180. We didn’t start the way we want,” Afridi said, reflecting on the team’s bowling performance in the initial overs.
Bowlers Shine in the Latter Half
Despite the early setbacks, Afridi acknowledged the resilience of his bowlers in the latter half of the innings. Haris Rauf, Mohammad Nawaz, and Usama Mir played pivotal roles in restricting New Zealand to only 83 runs in the final 10 overs.
“Our bowlers bowled well after 10 overs. We struggled in the first 10 overs, but the way Haris and Nawaz bowled was really good, and Usama Mir bowled really well,” Afridi added, praising the commendable efforts of his bowling unit.
Finn Allen’s Explosive Start
Finn Allen’s scintillating 74-run knock set the stage for New Zealand’s imposing total. His aggressive batting propelled the team to the 100-run mark within the first 10 overs. However, once Allen departed, Pakistan managed to regain momentum, with Haris Rauf’s three-wicket haul in the 18th over being a highlight.
Pakistan’s Batting Struggles
In pursuit of the target, Pakistan faced early setbacks, losing both openers in the initial two overs. Babar Azam and Fakhar Zaman led a brief recovery with an 87-run partnership for the third wicket, but a collapse ensued after Fakhar Zaman’s departure.
The former captain, Babar Azam, played a valiant knock of 66 runs, but the lack of substantial contributions from other batsmen proved detrimental to Pakistan’s chase.
As Pakistan faces a challenging situation with back-to-back losses, Shaheen Afridi expressed optimism about bouncing back in the third T20I scheduled for January 17, 2024, at Dunedin. The team will be eager to rectify their mistakes and turn the tide in their favor in the upcoming encounter.