CHRISTCHURCH: Pakistan captain Babar Azam led the way with a magnificent knock of 79* in the run chase and powered his side to a dominating six-wicket win over New Zealand in the second match of the ongoing Tri-nation series.
Set to chase 147, Pakistan comfortably steered to victory in the 19th over with six wickets to spare, thanks to a terrific match-winning from their captain Babar.
The touring side had an unwanted start to their run chase as they lost their key batter Mohammad Rizwan early, who could manage to score four off 12 deliveries.
Left-handed batter Shan Masood failed to contribute in the run chase as he bagged a two-ball duck and Pakistan, as a result, slipped to 37/2 in the sixth over.
Following the slump, Babar then joined hands with Shadab, who was promoted to bat at No.4, and set the tone for the run chase as the pair added crucial 61 runs for the third wicket.
Babar played an anchoring role in the partnership and soon brought up his half-century, while Shadab was accelerating the proceedings with a quickfire cameo.
Blair Tickner, however, halted Shadab’s heroics in the 13th over and provided his side with a much-needed breakthrough. He scored 34 off just 22, laced with two boundaries and as many sixes.
Mohammad Nawaz (19) then added vital runs for their team and put on a brief partnership with Babar and put Pakistan on the verge of a second victory in the ongoing tri-series.
Babar top-scored for his side with a brilliant knock of 79 not out off just 53 deliveries and smashed 11 boundaries. His sensible knock earned him the player of the match award.
Haider, on the other hand, scored 10 off just two deliveries, courtesy of a six and a boundary.
Tickner led the bowling attack for New Zealand as he bagged two wickets but was expensive, while Tim Southee and Trent Boult struck out a batter apiece.
Batting first after winning the toss, New Zealand were off to a poor start as the side lost their opener Finn Allen (13) at a combined score of 16 in the third over.
Devon Conway then joined hands with skipper Kane Williamson and anchored the innings with a gritty 61-run partnership for the second wicket.
Williamson and Conway remained too slow amid their second wicket as they conceded 52 balls in the proceeding.
Conway, while attempting to accelerate his knock, fell victim to Mohammad Nawaz in the 11th over. The left-handed batter top-scored for the side with 36 off 35 deliveries with the help of two boundaries and as many sixes.
The left-arm spinner then castled Williamson in his next over and caused New Zealand to slip to 88/3 in 13 overs. He scored 31 off 30 including a boundary.
Following the slump, Glenn Phillips and Mark Chapman stood up for their team and added 42 runs at a quick pace and powered the home side to a commendable total before Shahnawaz Dahani struck in the 18th over to remove Phillips for 18.
The hosts then began to lose wickets at an alarming rate, courtesy of a brilliant 19th over from Haris, who bagged three wickets including that of Chapman, who scored a quickfire 32. His 16-ball knock included three boundaries and two sixes.
Besides Haris, Mohammad Nawaz and Mohammad Wasim Jr bagged two wickets each, while Dahani made one scalp.