Anton Devcich man of the match, Luke Ronchi man of the series in Dubai.

BLACKCAPS win by 17 runs to level T20 series

BLACKCAPS 144 (Kane Williamson 32, Luke Ronchi 31, Umar Gul 2-24) beat Pakistan 127 all out in 18.5 overs (Ahmed Shehzad 33, Anton Device 2-16, Jimmy Neesham 3-25, Kyle Mills 3-26) by 17 runs at Dubai International Cricket Stadium.

The BLACKCAPS have levelled the two-match Twenty20 series v Pakistan 1-1 with a 17 run win in Dubai, with Anton Devcich named man of the match for his 2-16 bowling performance that set up the match. 

Scorecard

Devcich opened the bowling for the BLACKCAPS and had success straight away with an lbw shout that replays showed was optimistic, but was given, to claim match one destroyer Sarfraz Ahmed for just one. He followed that in the third over with a sharp caught and bowled from Mohammed Hafeez, who had scored nine from eight and was looking set.

Ahmed Shehzad was playing steadily, working singles around, but received little support from his team mates. Matt Henry, who had taken punishment early in his spell, came back to get Haris Sohail for three, caught in the deep by Tom Latham.

Saaid Nasim looked likely, hitting one big six before he was caught by Dean Brownlie at cover, becoming the first of Jimmy Neesham's three victims, his late three-wicket spell helping turn the game firmly for the BLACKCAPS. 

The Pakistan run chase touched two runs a ball required, but with Shahid Afridi at the crease they were always a chance - he took a couple of huge sixes, but fell to Neesham from the last ball of the 17th over, caught by man of the series Luke Ronchi.

Kyle Mills closed things out with three late wickets, skipper Kane Williamson taking a tumbling catch from Anwar Ali to finish proceedings and hand the BLACKCAPS the win by 17 runs.   

In the BLACKCAPS innings, Pakistan's bowling was tough to get away in the early stages, holding the BLACKCAPS to 3-0 after two overs. Williamson would break the shackles in the third though, smashing a four and a six to kick start his side’s innings.

He and Anton Devcich (21) put on 49 for the first wicket, before Hafeez made the breakthrough in the seventh over. Unfortunately this would be the start of a period where wickets feel a regular intervals for the BLACKCAPS.

Brownlie was unlucky to be adjudged lbw, after hawk-eye suggested it was missing leg-stump. Not long after, Williamson (32) and Taylor (7) also departed, leaving the BLACKCAPS struggling at 78-4 after 13 overs.

A crucial partnership of 38 between Tom Latham (26) and Luke Ronchi (31) got the BLACKCAPS back on track, with Ronchi hitting consecutive sixes off Shahid Afridi to lift the visitors to 113-4 with four overs remaining. Unfortunately the loss of wickets at inopportune times kept the BLACKCAPS from reaching the 150 mark, but they still headed into the shed having set Pakistan a reasonable target of 145 to win.

This was a solid BLACKCAPS win which leaves the series shared at 1-1, and sets things up nicely for the ODI series, which begins on Tuesday morning NZ time. 

 

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