Pakistan skipper relieved after beating New Zealand in fifth T20

Pakistan captain Shaheen Shah Afridi said it was “very important” his team avoided a whitewash series
loss to New Zealand after winning the fifth and final Twenty20 International by 42 runs on Sunday.

The Black Caps capitulated for 92 in the face of some quality Pakistan spin bowling, having been favoured to chase down the tourists’ 134-8.

Pakistan lost the five-match series 4-1 but Shaheen was pleased his first stint as captain had ended on a winning note, after being outplayed through the first four games.

He said the series was primarily seen as a chance to build towards the T20 World Cup in June but it would have been a setback to lose five from five.

“Today’s game was very important for us. We needed that as a unit to step forward,” Shaheen said.

“In the first four games, there were a lot of collapses, as a fielding unit, as a batting unit, but I think today we played as a team and we needed that win.

“It’s not easy for any team to come here. And I think our mind is on the World Cup. We’re just checking out every spot for every player and giving chances to youngsters.”

Part-time off-spinner Iftikhar Ahmed was handed the ball for the first time in the series and produced career-best figures of 3-24 against a weakened New Zealand batting lineup, who scored their second-lowest T20 total on home soil.

Only opener Finn Allen (22) and Glenn Phillips (26) passed 20 as Pakistan claimed the last eight wickets for 39 runs.

Left-arm spinner Mohammad Nawaz (2-18) was effective with the new ball, while Shaheen claimed 2-20.

New Zealand were missing three of their first-choice batters: Kane Williamson (knee injury), Devon Conway (Covid-19) and Daryl Mitchell (rested).

This article has been posted by a News Hour Correspondent. For queries, please contact through [email protected]
No Comments