New Zealand clinched the three-match T20I series against Pakistan by winning their second match on the trot. Pakistan bowlers made it difficult for New Zealand batsmen to coast through to a win. But Skipper Kane Williamson and Tim Seifert steered their team to a dominating nine-wicket victory.
After choosing to bat first, Pakistan once again suffered a top-order collapse. Veteran batsmen Mohammad Hafeez fought a lone battle and took his team to a respectable total of 163/6 in the end. His majestic knock of 99 in 57 balls included ten 4's and five 6's. None of the other batsmen except Rizwan (22) crossed 20 runs.
For New Zealand, Tim Southee starred with the ball as he took a 4-wicket haul (4-21) and destroyed the opposition's top order.
In the chase, Guptill and Seifert gave a quickfire start. After Guptill departed, Tim Seifert continued his golden run of form by scoring 84* off 63 balls to ensure New Zealand remained unbeaten this summer. Kane Williamson was the perfect foil for Seifert, scoring 57* in 42 balls. The duo stitched an unbeaten 129-run partnership to take New Zealand to the shores of victory without any hiccups.
Both the teams will now shift their focus towards the last T20I of the series. New Zealand will look for a clean sweep while Pakistan will look to salvage their pride.
Ideal Teams for the second T20I
The McLean Park, Napier, will host the 3rd T20I of this series. Historically, the venue has been a batsman's paradise. 191 is the average first innings total at this ground, and it reduces to 154 in the second innings. Also, 241/3 scored by the England team against New Zealand in 2019 is the highest T20I total recorded here. English batsmen Dawid Malan's 103* is the highest individual score at this venue.
Until now, New Zealand has played two T20Is here. In 2017 they faced Bangladesh and defeated them comfortably. In 2019, they suffered a heavy 76-run defeat at the hands of the rampaging England team.
Kane Williamson made a match-winning 73* in 55 balls in the only game he played at this ground in 2017. That should augur well for the home side. Williamson has been on a roll lately as he notched up his third fifty in the last four matches. He will look to continue in the same vein of form as New Zealand continues to build momentum for the upcoming T20I World Cup.
With Mitchell Santner sitting this match out, New Zealand team management might not alter their playing XI. They might think of giving some rest to James Neesham as he has been playing continuously in the white ball games for them. All-rounder Daryll Mitchell might replace him.
Pakistan will look to end the series on a positive note. Their batting has looked out of sorts in both the games. Their bowling has been inconsistent and failed to contain the New Zealand batsmen.
Wahab Riaz has been ineffective in both the matches. The team management might rest him for this game. Aggressive fast bowler, Mohammad Hasnain, will most probably replace him in the playing XI.
Pakistan might not make any changes in the batting order. They would ideally want to give more opportunities to promising youngsters like Abdullah Shafique and Haider Ali at the international level.