Pakistan secured a notable T20I achievement in New Zealand by defeating the home team by 42 runs in the fifth T20I, preventing a whitewash in the series.
Despite facing a challenging situation after winning the toss and posting a modest total of 134-8, Pakistan successfully defended their score as New Zealand was bowled out for 92 runs in 17.2 overs. This marked the lowest T20I total successfully defended by any team in New Zealand.
At one point, New Zealand was at a promising 53-2, but a significant collapse within 20 overs led to their downfall. Off-spinner Iftikhar Ahmed emerged as the standout bowler for Pakistan, claiming figures of 3-24 in four overs, while Captain Shaheen Afridi and all-rounder Mohammad Nawaz contributed with two wickets each. Glenn Phillips top-scored for the home side with 26 runs in 22 balls.
In their batting innings, Pakistan faced a challenging start, managing only 134-8 with a consistent loss of wickets, making it difficult to recover against New Zealand’s disciplined bowling. Tim Southee, Matt Henry, Lockie Ferguson, and Ish Sodhi each took two wickets, putting New Zealand in a strong position to secure a 5-0 series sweep.
Tim Southee, the leading wicket-taker in T20 cricket, set the tone for New Zealand with a maiden over that dismissed debutant Haseebullah Khan. Southee returned in the 13th over to remove the aggressive Fakhar Zaman, who had scored 33 off 16 balls. Despite Mohammad Rizwan’s top-score of 38 off 38 balls, Pakistan struggled, and key batter Babar Azam had a challenging innings, scoring only 13 off 24 balls.
The victory in the final T20I allowed Pakistan to avoid a complete whitewash, but New Zealand ultimately won the series 4-1, securing convincing victories in the first four matches.