The Pressure Released – Third Twenty20 between Pakistan and New Zealand

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The Pressure Released – Third Twenty20 between Pakistan and New Zealand

Pakistan facing their third Twenty20 International game against the New Zealand team was indeed a pressure after losing the first and the second game and giving the series to the Kiwi’s. New Zealand certainly seemed determined
to clean sweep the series.

This determination was vigilant in their captain Ross Taylor’s comments even after loosing the toss to Shahid Afridi. Afridi elected to bat first but Taylor was firm with the choice saying that the pitch already has grass covering
so their bowlers wouldn’t have much trouble reducing the Pakistan batsman to a low total.

Pakistan had an explosive opening partnership of 81 runs before the fall of first wicket. The first 50 reached in mere 4.5 overs, but the middle order couldn’t help keep the pressure on the bowlers. By the end of the innings, tremendous
batting from Abdul Razzaq was the eye catcher that propelled them to a grand total of 183.

Indeed a challenging total for victory in the third Twenty20 in Christchurch with 9.15 starting required run rate. Umar Akmal was also the key with Ahmed Shehzad’s half century, in which he did a boundary hat-trick on Adam Milne
in his second over and then again the same punishment for Tim Southee, setting this massive target for the hosts.

The Kiwi bowlers were on hand to haul back the run rate once the field restrictions were erased. But the real damage-man was unmistakable Razzaq who propelled Pakistan beyond 180. Razzaq was dropped on 2 in the penultimate over,
and that was the turning point as he launched boundary after boundary, in a stunning display of powerful hitting. 31 runs came off the last nine balls and the stumps were called off when Razzaq was disastrous with his 34 coming from just 14 deliveries.

Razzaq was not only stunning in his batting display, in-fact he proved his guts as soon as he was given the opening bowling. He had a galloping approach in his bowling and accurate enough to give Pakistan wickets in quick succession.

Razzaq had a terrific spell with an astounding lead taking three wickets for just 13 runs in his four overs. The Pakistan bowling was further supported by the skipper Afridi who took three in his two overs giving the same number
of runs as his team-mate. New Zealand tumbling to one of their lowest totals ended their innings with 80 runs loosing the third Twenty20 International by a huge run difference 103.

The man of the match award was given to, none other than, the striker batsman and the attacking bowler AbdulRazzaq, who by his brilliant sport gave Pakistan a sigh of relief.

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