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  5. Depleted New Zealand level series against Pakistan as Mark Chapman guides visitors to 7-wicket win in 3rd T20I

Depleted New Zealand level series against Pakistan as Mark Chapman guides visitors to 7-wicket win in 3rd T20I

A depleted New Zealand side sans most of their first-choice players beat Pakistan in the third T20I riding on Mark Chapman's unbeaten 87 blitz in Rawalpindi. The series is now 1-1 level with two matches to go after a no result in the first game and Pakistan winning the second.

Edited By: Anshul Gupta @oyegupta_ New Delhi Published on: April 22, 2024 13:47 IST
Mark Chapman and Jimmy Neesham after New Zealand's 7-wicket
Image Source : AP Mark Chapman and Jimmy Neesham after New Zealand's 7-wicket win against Pakistan in the third T20I

New Zealand levelled the five-match T20 series against Pakistan with a magnificent 7-wicket win in the third T20I in Rawalpindi on Sunday, April 21. Sans the stars, the visiting New Zealand side pulled off a calculated chase of 179 runs as Mark Chapman played a whirlwind innings of 87 off just 42 balls to not just help the Kiwis stay alive in the series but also has given his side a chance to seal the series despite having several new players in the squad.

Eight of the first-choice New Zealand players are currently involved in the IPL including skipper Kane Williamson, Daryl Mitchell, Mitchell Santner, Glenn Phillips, Lockie Ferguson, Rachin Ravindra, Trent Boult and Matt Henry. Three of them are injured - Devon Conway, Finn Allen and Adam Milne while Tim Southee has been rested. Despite missing 12 regulars, the Kiwis did enough to get the result in their favour with both bat and ball.

Shadab Khan's 20-ball 41-run cameo lifted Pakistan to 178 after reserved starts from the likes of skipper Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan, who retired hurt for 22 off 21. Irfan Khan with 30 off 20 also helped the home side a bit but Shadab's innings could have been the real difference between the two sides as he not only helped Pakistan recover in a flailing innings but got them to a competitive score but with New Zealand without several key batters, the hosts would have hoped to win.

However, it wasn't to be. Tim Robinson and Tim Seifert gave New Zealand a rapid start before Dean Foxcroft sort of struggled but held one end. Losing both the openers wasn't what the doctor ordered for the New Zealand side but Mark Chapman looked like a man on a mission.

Chapman took on the bowlers from the outset and whether the spinners or the pacers, kept putting pressure on the Pakistani side. Foxcroft was dismissed on 31 but it was already too late. He almost played run-a-ball but he ensured that Pakistan bowlers couldn't come back into the game as he stitched a 117-run partnership with Chapman, who did the heavy lifting.

Neesham provided the finishing touch as Chapman stuck at over 200 to seal the deal for the Kiwis with 10 balls to spare. Both teams will have a three days break as they now travel to Lahore for the remaining two games of the series.

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