Sloppy Black Caps rolled by Pakistan

Iftikhar Ahmed of Pakistan successfully appeals for the wicket of Tim Seifert during the fifth...
Iftikhar Ahmed of Pakistan successfully appeals for the wicket of Tim Seifert during the fifth T20 between New Zealand and Pakistan at Hagley Oval in Christchurch today. Photo: Getty Images
A sloppy Black Caps side have saved their worst for last, rolled for 92 in the fifth and final Twenty20 against Pakistan.

The hosts were chasing a clean sweep at Hagley Oval and that aim seemed well within their sights at the halfway mark, a restrictive bowling effort having set up a chase of 135.

But after beginning the series by smashing their fifth-highest total in T20 internationals, they ended it by collapsing to their eighth-lowest in a 42-run defeat.

Pakistan’s 134-8 represented the lowest 20-over total any team had successfully defended against the Black Caps, who were bogged down on a pitch that offered plenty of turn.

Azam almost appeared to be batting for time, seeing Pakistan end the powerplay on 29-1, and had crawled to five from 16 when Chapman gave him a third life.

Glenn Phillips eventually succeeded where his teammate had failed, getting a big hug from Chapman to finally put Azam (13 off 24) out of his misery.

Pakistan staggered to 52-2 at the halfway mark before Fakhar Zaman (33 of 16) proved an exception in the match, smacking four sixes before mistiming another big shot as Tim Southee (2-19) reapplied the brakes.

Player-of-the-series Finn Allen bats against Pakistan. Photo: Getty Images
Player-of-the-series Finn Allen bats against Pakistan. Photo: Getty Images
Once Nawaz was caught and bowled by Ish Sodhi (2-22) and Mohammad Rizwan (38 off 38) had fallen the next ball to Matt Henry (2-30), any hopes of a formidable total had been dashed. It turned out to matter little, as both Black Caps openers fell inside five overs.

Recalled for his first T20 since last September - and opening for the first time since his debut series in 2021 - Rachin Ravindra lasted only two balls before being dismissed by Nawaz.

The spinner completed his allotment inside the opening 10 overs as New Zealand matched their opponents by stumbling out of the blocks. The wicket of player-of-the-series Finn Allen (22 off 19) certainly didn’t help, removed by an excellent low catch by Haseebullah as the hosts ended the powerplay on 35-2.

When Will Young was caught in the deep to give Nawaz a second, the Black Caps were in a spot of bother with 81 more needed from the final 10 overs. And when Chapman’s rotten day was exacerbated by being run out for one - a dismissal for which Tim Seifert assumed blame - the chase was again in the hands of Phillips.

Seifert (19 off 30) was unable to atone for his error, trapped in front by Iftikhar, before Mitchell Santner came and went as the required rate rose above 10.

Still 66 runs away, the Black Caps were into the bowlers and they offered no assistance, Henry and Sodhi opting to attack Iftikhar but combining for two runs while Phillips watched helplessly at the other end.

The hosts went 49 balls without a boundary before Phillips ended the drought with successive blows, but was fortunate to avoid being caught while looking for a third. His luck ran out the next ball as Shaheen Shah Afridi essentially ended all hope.

By Kris Shannon