Home > 

Kiwis Square T20 Series in Pakistan: Chapman’s Heroics Steer New Zealand to Victory

In a stunning display of resilience and skill, New Zealand’s cricket team squared the five-match T20 series 1-1 with an astounding 7-wicket triumph over Pakistan in the third T20I at Rawalpindi on Sunday, April 21. In the absence of their star players, the Kiwis delivered a masterclass in chasing, achieving a target of 179 runs, courtesy of Mark Chapman’s blistering 87 off just 42 balls.

The New Zealand team demonstrated commendable depth as they tackled their Pakistani counterparts without the presence of several key players. With eight top-tier performers, including team captain Kane Williamson, Daryl Mitchell, Mitchell Santner, Glenn Phillips, Lockie Ferguson, Rachin Ravindra, Trent Boult, and Matt Henry tied up in the IPL, the side still flourished. Injured players Devon Conway, Finn Allen, and Adam Milne, along with a rested Tim Southee, further stretched the team’s resources; yet the spirit of the Black Caps remained undeterred.

Pakistan’s innings, which began with measured starts from captain Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan, who retired hurt at 22, picked up momentum thanks to a fiery 20-ball 41-run spree by Shadab Khan. The home team’s total was aided by Irfan Khan’s handy 30 off 20 balls. Shadab played a crucial role in steering Pakistan to a competitive 178, which under normal circumstances, should have favored them, especially with New Zealand’s depleted batting lineup.

The chase, however, told a different story. Openers Tim Robinson and Tim Seifert set New Zealand off to a flying start. Dean Foxcroft may have had a slower pace, but his stability in the innings was key to the team’s pursuit. The early dismissal of both openers could have spelled trouble, but Chapman charged in with a driven performance, seemingly on a quest to keep the series alive.

Chapman’s aggressive batting stood out as he successfully challenged Pakistani bowlers of all types. Even as Foxcroft was caught for 31, Chapman continued his assault, forging a pivotal 117-run partnership that shifted the momentum in New Zealand’s favor. His remarkable innings were characterized by precision and power, and the relentless attack on the Pakistani bowlers was a spectacle for cricket enthusiasts.

The finishing touches to New Zealand’s emphatic victory were added by James Neesham, who complemented Chapman’s aggression. Chapman’s strike rate soared above 200 as he steered his side towards the win, with 10 balls remaining, showing the world the incredible pressure a single player in form can inflict upon the opposition.

Following this intense game, both teams will take some time to regroup with a three-day break as they gear up to continue their battle in Lahore for the upcoming matches in the series. The team definitely looks different without its seasoned players, but New Zealand’s performance has evidenced that they are no less formidable. The next two games promise to be just as thrilling, with the potential for either side to take the series.

The New Zealand squad, despite being short-handed, have shown an admirable capacity to adapt and compete. As the teams prepare for the fourth T20I, the excitement among fans and players alike is palpable. Will the Kiwis maintain their momentum and potentially take the series lead, or will Pakistan leverage their home advantage to bounce back? The following matches in Lahore will undoubtedly deliver answers and perhaps, even more spectacular cricket.