You need impactful innings, especially in T20 cricket nowadays: Shadab Khan

"Making runs consistently in T20 cricket isn't difficult, but playing impactful innings is difficult," said Khan.

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Shadab Khan
Shadab Khan. (Photo Source: X(Twitter)

After the first T20I was washed out due to rain between Pakistan and New Zealand, the hosts won the second match by seven wickets. However, the visitors came back strong in the third T20I to level the series 1-1 with a dominant seven-wicket victory in Rawalpindi.

Pakistan posted 178/4 after being asked to bat first, a total their captain Babar Azam felt was competitive on a good batting pitch. But New Zealand achieved the target with ten balls to spare, thanks to an unbeaten 87 off just 42 balls from Mark Chapman.

The match raised familiar questions about Pakistan's batting approach in the middle overs. While Babar defended his side's performance, vice-captain Shadab Khan called for more impactful innings from the batters.

"We did well with the bat. I don't think it [the slowdown] made much of a difference because we had caught up in the end. You can say we were ten runs short. Unfortunately, we had a bit of a setback with [Mohammad] Rizwan's injury because it wasn't easy for new batters. But Shadab recovered well and had an outstanding partnership with Irfan [Khan]. In Pindi, 180-190 is a par score," Babar said at the post-match presentation. 

Also read: Haseebullah replaces Azam Khan in T20I squad

In the middle period, we were slow: Azhar Mahmood

On pitches favoring the batters at Rawalpindi of late, totals around 190 have rarely been defended. Pakistan coach Azhar Mahmood acknowledged they were 15-20 runs short.

The middle overs again proved Pakistan's collapse. After a brisk start, they scored just 51 runs during the 7-13th over as the BlackCaps took wickets in regular intervals. Babar and Rizwan managed just 59 off 50 balls together during this period.

"In the middle period, we were slow. Between overs seven to ten, and then 11 to 15, the ball was gripping and we slowed down. These are the things we have to learn to improve," Mahmood said.

Also read: Mohammad Rizwan sets record for fastest 3000 T20I runs

Shadab's late cameo of 41 off 20 balls took Pakistan to a defendable total, but he felt the side lacked impactful batting performances. "Sometimes, you need impactful innings, especially in T20 cricket nowadays. Making runs consistently in T20 cricket isn't difficult, but playing impactful innings is difficult."

With the series level, both sides will be looking to rectify their mistakes in their next encounter and look to go up in the series. The fourth T20I will be played on 25th April in Lahore. 

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