Series squared after NZ lose fifth T20

New Zealand's Tim Seifert. File photo: Getty
New Zealand's Tim Seifert. File photo: Getty
The Black Caps have gone down by nine runs in the fifth and final Twenty20 international in Pakistan to leave the five-match series squared 2-2.

A tense contest in Lahore was decided in the final over, which New Zealand began needing 12 runs to win but which ended tamely when tailenders Ben Sears and Will O'Rourke were both run out.

The chase ended at 169 all out off 19.2 overs in response to Pakistan's 178 for five after they were sent in.

New Zealand were in the contest throughout the chase after opener Tim Seifert raced to 52 off 33 balls to give them a shot at would have been a memorable series win, given the under-strength nature of their tour squad.

They stuttered through middle stages after legspinner Usama Mir (2-21) bowled Seifert and seamer Shaheen Afridi (4-30) exposed holes in the middle order.

Some lusty blows from Josh Clarkson (38 not out off 26 balls) lifted the tourists back into the contest but they couldn't produce the decisive late moments that had marked their victories in games three and four.

Earlier, paceman O'Rourke was the pick of the New Zealand attack for a second straight game, taking 1-25 off four overs, with Ish Sodhi (1-30) and Zakary Foulkes (1-35) offering solid support.

Pakistan captain Babar Azam produced the innings of the match with 69 off 44 balls but New Zealand bowled well over the second half of the innings to keep the total in check.

Black Caps captain Michael Bracewell said a drawn series was a fair result and praised his side's fighting qualities in the absence of a host of first-choice players on duty in the Indian Premier League.

"Pretty happy with coming over here and learning how to play in these conditions," he said.

"Credit to Pakistan, they played really well. We lost a couple of wickets in the middle and that put us on the backfoot. Shaheen and Usama bowled particularly well. We were keeping the run rate (in check) but those wickets were the turning point."

The Black Caps squad for the Twenty20 World Cup will be announced on Monday.