New Zealand made a strong comeback after losing the first two games in the three-match T20I series. The home side beat Pakistan in the rain-interrupted final of the series at the Queenstown Events Centre on December 09. However, the White Ferns had already lost the series in the previous match as they faced two consecutive defeats.
Earlier Nida Dar-led Pakistan has already scripted history by winning their first T20I series away from home courtesy of their two successive wins. The grand series victory of Pakistan has given them enough pride to get their heads up even after the loss in the last T20I clash.
New Zealand won the toss and decided to bowl first in the third and final fixture of the series. Pakistan started with a steady opening partnership of 65 within the first ten overs before Amelia Kerr broke the partnership. Kerr dismissed Muneeba Ali on 27 and with this wicket, Pakistan proceeded to lose 4 for 31 as New Zealand wrested the advantage.
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Sidra Ameen kept fighting for Pakistan in a pressure situation, scoring 43 off 38 balls before Amelia Kerr struck again to get her out. She was the top scorer for her team while captain Nida Dar also made a valuable contribution of 25 runs. Even so, Amelia Kerr’s outstanding performance and regular strikes alongside Eden Carson’s crucial breakthroughs restricted the visitors to just 137/5 in their 20 overs.
New Zealand, who needed to win this match to get safe from a clean sweep, began the chase on a positive note. Suzie Bates provided a strong foundation while opening. Though her partner, Bernadine Bezuidenhout lost her wicket early on for just four runs. However, Bates kept smashing runs and blazed her way to an unbeaten 51 off 42 balls.
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Suzie Bates also got a able support from Amelia Kerr who already had a good outing with the ball. She scored 35 runs off 31 balls and the duo had a 63-run stand between them for the second wicket. Amelia Kerr eventually got dismissed by Nashra Sandhu in the tenth over before rain interrupted the game. New Zealand were at 101/2 in 15 overs before the rain in Queenstown brought the game to a premature finish.
According to the DLS method, the host New Zealand were six runs ahead when the rain stopped the play and thus the home team won the match by 6 runs to end the series 2-1. Suzie Bates was named the Player of the Match for her tremendous knock of 51 runs. Whereas, Pakistan’s pacer Fatima Sana was given the Player of the Series award for outstanding and valuable contribution with the ball in the series.
Brief Scores: New Zealand vs Pakistan 3rd T20I
Pakistan – 137/5 (Sidra Ameen – 43, Muneeba Ali – 27, Amelia Kerr – 3/11) lost to New Zealand – 101/2 (15 overs) (Suzie Bates – 51, Amelia Kerr – 35, Sadia Iqbal – 1/15) by 6 runs (DLS method).