Twitter Reactions: Mohammad Hafeez’s 99 in vain as New Zealand claim the series courtesy Tim Seifert’s 84*
New Zealand sealed the game by 9 wickets and 4 balls to spare, thereby taking an unassailable lead of 2-0 in the three-match series.
Updated - Dec 20, 2020 2:58 pm
There was a series to be won for New Zealand, whereas there was one to save for the visiting party Pakistan. The result not falling their way after batting first in the first T20I did not deter skipper Shadab Khan to go ahead with the same choice after winning the toss at Seddon Park. Unlike the first clash, the Black Caps had the presence of many of their leading players in the side as Kane Williamson, Kyle Jamieson, Tim Southee, and Trent Boult returned at the expense of Jacob Duffy, Blair Tickner, Mitchell Santner, and Daryl Mitchell.
It did not take too long for Tim Southee to push the visitors on the back foot as he struck twice in the first over his spell to get rid of Haider Ali and Abdullah Shafique. While he got Ali (8 from 4) caught at mid-off, Shafique (0 from 2) ended up popping a simple return catch to the bowler.
The third-wicket stand between both the Mohammads, Hafeez and Rizwan, lagged momentum as they added 17 in 22 before the latter edged off Jimmy Neesham to the keeper. Reduced to 56 for 4 as wickets tumbled from one end, Mohammad Hafeez stood as the lone warrior for his side. Riding on his luck, as he was dropped on 45, he notched up his half-century to keep Pakistan in the contest.
Along with Khushdil Shah, Hafeez added a crucial 63 from 46 for the fifth wicket, where he played the role of the aggressor. The stand was broken when Guptill took an easy catch as Shah (14 from 20) tried to slog Ish Sodhi. Making a quick move on towards the end of the innings, Hafeez – who finished with an unbeaten 99 from 52, featuring 10 fours and five sixes – added 30 from just 13 with Imad Wasim as Pakistan finished 163 for 6 after their 20 overs. Tim Southee shone with the ball for New Zealand picking four wickets.
New Zealand cruise to victory
Coming to the chase, Martin Guptill seemed in a hurry as he added 21 from 11, including a boundary and a couple of sixes. However, he failed to capitalize and holed out to Haris Rauf at midwicket while he was trying to smash Faheem Ashraf. Though the Pakistan bowlers bowled at disciplined lengths for the initial period, they lacked the bite to take more wickets.
Credit to even the batsmen, who ensured to not play any loose shots, and after a slightly quiet phase, Tim Seifert made a move by slamming three sixes to Wahab Riaz. From the other end, Kane Williamson kept playing in his usual fuss-free style and managed to get boundaries at regular intervals.
Playing risk-free cricket and handling the ball on merit, Williamson (57 from 42) and Siefert (84 from 63) piled a spectacular stand of 129 runs from just 97 deliveries as New Zealand sealed the game by 9 wickets and 4 balls to spare, thereby taking an unassailable lead of 2-0 in the three-match series.
Here’s how Twitter reacted:
Very, very comfortable that. #NZvsPAK
— Andrew Gourdie (@AndrewGourdie) December 20, 2020
— Rasheed Hussain🇮🇳 (@being_rasheed78) December 20, 2020
Nice one Kane + Tim 👏#NZvsPAK
— Capt Commentary Cat BCom🏏🙀🎤🇳🇿 (@Commentary_cat) December 20, 2020
Tim Seifert 💥#NZvsPAK
— ℭʜᴀɪᴛʜᴜ ℜᴇᴅᴅʏ (@pspkvk18) December 20, 2020
Imagine thinking there’s ever been a better Kiwi batsman then Kane Williamson #NZvsPAK
— Luke Robinson (@whakataneluke) December 20, 2020
New Zealand love taking it deep. Tried hard for another Super Over but Wahab Riaz dropped a tough chance from Williamson at deep.
— Thunder Downunder ♞ (@TheYorkerBall) December 20, 2020
— Amir Barkat (@AmirBarkat1) December 20, 2020
— Rizvi Tweets (@Shah_Rizvi97) December 20, 2020
— Attila (@AttilaBalassa) December 20, 2020
— Anupam Bhaumik (@anupambhaumik__) December 20, 2020
True cricket fans don't expect a win from Pakistan✌️#NZvsPAK
— Dev!L 2.0 (@iv2cky) December 20, 2020
And thats the game! Seifert and Williamson put on a fantastic 129 run partnership to seal the T20 series for New Zealand! A wonderful display of T20 batting! #NZvsPAK
— Down The Track (@DownTheTrack2) December 20, 2020