Pakistan's Batting Performance Praised Despite T20I Loss to New Zealand

Pakistan’s Batting Performance Praised Despite T20I Loss to New Zealand

Pakistan’s skipper Babar Azam expressed satisfaction with his team’s batting performance in the third T20I against New Zealand at the Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium, despite their 7-wicket loss.

Azam, who scored a 37-run knock off 29 balls, acknowledged that Mohammad Rizwan’s injury in the first inning was a setback. Rizwan, who had scored 22 runs off 21 balls, was forced to retire hurt.

“We did well with the bat. I don’t think it [the slowdown] made much of a difference because we had caught up in the end. You can say we were ten runs short. Unfortunately, we had a bit of a setback with [Mohammad] Rizwan’s injury because it wasn’t easy for new batters. But Shadab recovered well and had an outstanding partnership with Irfan [Khan],” Azam said at the post-match presentation.

Azam praised the partnership between Shadab Khan and Irfan Khan, which helped Pakistan recover in the game. “In Pindi, 180-190 is a par score,” he added.

After winning the toss, New Zealand opted to field first. Saim Ayub (32) and Babar Azam opened the innings for Pakistan, putting on a 55-run partnership. Shadab Khan (41) was the standout batter for the hosts, while Irfan Khan (30) also contributed.

Ish Sodhi led the Kiwi bowling attack with two wickets, while Bracewell and Jacob Duffy took one wicket each.

In the run chase, Dean Foxcroft (31) and Mark Chapman (87) played a crucial 117-run partnership to guide New Zealand to a comfortable victory. Pakistan’s bowling performance was lackluster, with only Afridi and Shah taking wickets.

The five-match series is currently tied at 1-1, with both teams having won one game each.

Pakistan Opt to Bowl First in Second T20I Against New Zealand

Pakistan Opt to Bowl First in Second T20I Against New Zealand

Pakistan, led by captain Babar Azam, opted to field first in the second T20I against New Zealand in Rawalpindi on Saturday. The decision came after Pakistan won the toss, hoping to capitalize on the favorable conditions for bowling.

Pakistan fielded an unchanged lineup from the first T20I, which was abandoned due to rain after only two deliveries. The team’s batting order remains unchanged, with Babar Azam, Saim Ayub, Mohammad Rizwan, Usman Khan, Iftikhar Ahmed, Irfan Khan, Shadab Khan, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Mohammad Amir, Naseem Shah, and Abrar Ahmed taking the field.

New Zealand, on the other hand, was forced to make one change to their XI. Right-arm medium-pace bowler Josh Clarkson was ruled out due to illness and was replaced by offspin-bowling allrounder Cole McConchie. McConchie has played nine T20Is for New Zealand, most recently against the United Arab Emirates in August 2023.

Despite his limited batting contributions, McConchie has proven to be a reliable bowler, with seven wickets at an average of 22.71 and an economy rate of 7.17. His inclusion in the team is expected to provide New Zealand with additional bowling options.

Meanwhile, Pakistan suffered a setback with the news that wicketkeeper-batter Azam Khan has been ruled out of the entire series. Radiology reports confirmed a grade one tear in his right calf muscle, forcing him to miss the remaining matches.

With the weather forecast predicting clear skies for the second T20I, both teams will be eager to secure a victory and gain an advantage in the three-match series. Pakistan will look to their experienced bowling attack to restrict New Zealand’s batting, while the visitors will aim to put up a competitive total and test Pakistan’s batting lineup.

Pakistan vs New Zealand: Babar Azam Returns as Captain in T20I Series Opener

Pakistan vs New Zealand: Babar Azam Returns as Captain in T20I Series Opener

Pakistan and New Zealand will clash in the first T20I of a five-match series at the Pindi Cricket Stadium on Thursday, April 18. The series marks the return of Babar Azam as captain after the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) reversed its decision to appoint Shaheen Shah Afridi as skipper.

Mohammad Amir and Imad Wasim, who recently came out of retirement, will also make their international comebacks in this series. New Zealand, on the other hand, has arrived in Pakistan with an understrength squad due to the Indian Premier League (IPL).

The Black Caps are missing nine top players, including skipper Kane Williamson, who are currently playing in the IPL. Stand-in captain Michael Bracewell believes this is an opportunity for younger players to showcase their talent.

Pakistan-New Zealand T20I Series Faces Rain Threat

Pakistan-New Zealand T20I Series Faces Rain Threat

The highly anticipated five-match T20I series between Pakistan and New Zealand is set to commence on April 18 at the Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium. However, the series is facing a potential threat from inclement weather, with Geo News reporting that Rawalpindi is expected to experience rainfall and thunderstorms throughout the week.

The New Zealand team arrived in Islamabad on Sunday, eager to fine-tune their squad ahead of the T20 World Cup 2024 in June. The Kiwis have named experienced all-rounder Michael Bracewell as their skipper for the tour, as the majority of their players are currently involved in the Indian Premier League (IPL).

Pakistan, on the other hand, will be led by Babar Azam, who recently regained the captaincy of the white-ball format. The Men in Green will be looking to avenge their 4-1 T20I series defeat against the Blackcaps earlier this year.

The series will also mark the return of star pacer Mohammad Amir and all-rounder Imad Wasim, who have reversed their retirements and made sensational comebacks to the Pakistan squad. Former fast bowler Azhar Mahmood has been appointed as the head coach for the series, while Wahab Riaz will serve as the senior team manager.

Both teams have announced their squads for the five-match series:


* Babar Azam (c)
* Abrar Ahmed
* Azam Khan
* Fakhar Zaman
* Iftikhar Ahmed
* Imad Wasim
* Mohammad Abbas Afridi
* Mohammad Rizwan
* Mohammad Amir
* Irfan Niazi
* Naseem Shah
* Saim Ayub
* Shadab Khan
* Shaheen Afridi
* Usman Khan
* Zaman Khan
* Usama Mir

New Zealand:

* Michael Bracewell (c)
* Tom Blundell
* Mark Chapman
* Josh Clarkson
* Jacob Duffy
* Dean Foxcroft
* Ben Lister
* Cole McConchie
* Zack Fowlkes
* Jimmy Neesham
* Will O’Rourke
* Tim Robinson
* Ben Sears
* Tim Seifert
* Ish Sodhi

With both teams eager to prove their mettle and prepare for the upcoming T20 World Cup, the five-match series promises to be an exciting and competitive affair. However, the weather conditions could play a significant role in determining the outcome of the matches.

Finn Allen, Adam Milne Ruled Out of Pakistan Tour, T20 World Cup Hopes in Doubt

Finn Allen, Adam Milne Ruled Out of Pakistan Tour, T20 World Cup Hopes in Doubt

New Zealand’s T20 World Cup preparations have suffered a setback with the injuries to Finn Allen and Adam Milne, who have been ruled out of the upcoming tour of Pakistan.

Allen, a dynamic opening batter, sustained a back injury during training, while Milne, a fast bowler, picked up an ankle problem. Their absence raises concerns about their availability for the T20 World Cup, which begins in October.

Tom Blundell, the Test wicketkeeper, and uncapped allrounder Zak Foulkes have been called up as replacements. Blundell has previous T20I experience, while Foulkes impressed with his performances for Canterbury in the Super Smash.

New Zealand coach Gary Stead expressed sympathy for Allen and Milne, acknowledging their contributions to the team’s T20 success since the last World Cup. He stated that the medical staff would work closely with both players to facilitate their recovery and return to cricket.

Foulkes, a 21-year-old, has shown promise with his bowling skills, particularly in T20 cricket. Stead praised his impressive season with Canterbury, where he was their leading wicket-taker in all three competitions.

New Zealand’s T20 World Cup squad is expected to be announced by May 1, with the final 15 to be confirmed by May 25. The injuries to Allen and Milne could impact the team’s selection decisions, especially regarding the number of fast bowlers included.

The Pakistan tour was already set to be without nine players due to IPL commitments, while Will Young, Tom Latham, and Tim Southee were also unavailable. Michael Bracewell will captain the side, which also includes uncapped batter Tim Robinson.

Legendary New Zealand Leg-Spinner Jack Alabaster Passes Away at 93

Legendary New Zealand Leg-Spinner Jack Alabaster Passes Away at 93

Former New Zealand leg-spinner Jack Alabaster, a legendary figure in the country’s cricketing history, passed away at the age of 93 on Tuesday night in Cromwell, U.K. Alabaster’s demise has left a void in the cricketing fraternity, as he was widely regarded as one of the finest spinners to emerge from New Zealand.

Alabaster’s cricketing journey began with Otago in domestic cricket, where he made a significant impact with his exceptional leg-spin bowling. His impressive performances earned him a call-up to the national team in 1955, and he went on to represent New Zealand in 21 Test matches over the next 17 years.

During his Test career, Alabaster claimed 49 wickets at an average of 38.02, showcasing his ability to deceive batsmen with his subtle variations and accurate line and length. He played a pivotal role in New Zealand’s first four Test victories, including a historic maiden Test win against South Africa in 1961-62.

In that memorable Test, Alabaster produced a match-winning performance, claiming 8/180 in the third innings. His exceptional bowling helped New Zealand overcome a 30-run deficit in the first innings and secure a famous victory. Alabaster’s contribution to New Zealand’s cricketing success cannot be overstated.

Apart from his Test exploits, Alabaster also represented New Zealand in numerous other international matches, including tours of India, Pakistan, England, South Africa, and the West Indies. He was a key member of the New Zealand team that toured the West Indies in 1971-72, where he had the privilege of bowling to the legendary Garry Sobers.

Alabaster’s legacy extends beyond his on-field achievements. He was a respected figure in the cricketing community, known for his humility, sportsmanship, and unwavering dedication to the game. His passing has been met with heartfelt tributes from former teammates, opponents, and cricket enthusiasts alike.

England Clinch T20I Series Win Over New Zealand with Clinical Performance

England Clinch T20I Series Win Over New Zealand with Clinical Performance

England’s Nat Sciver-Brunt and Sophie Ecclestone orchestrated a dominant bowling performance to secure a comprehensive five-wicket victory over New Zealand in the final T20I of the series. The triumph sealed a 4-1 series win for England.

Sciver-Brunt’s early breakthroughs left New Zealand reeling at 23 for 3. She dismissed openers Suzie Bates and Maddy Green before trapping Amelia Kerr lbw. Ecclestone then took over, claiming the wickets of Katey Martin and Hannah Rowe to reduce the hosts to 69 for 5.

However, 19-year-old Izzy Gaze played a defiant innings, scoring an unbeaten 51 to rescue New Zealand. She shared a crucial 56-run partnership with Brooke Halliday for the sixth wicket.

In reply, England lost early wickets but Sciver-Brunt and Heather Knight steadied the ship with a 57-run stand. Sciver-Brunt fell for 31, but Knight remained unbeaten on 35 to guide England to victory.

Ecclestone finished with figures of 3 for 30, while Sciver-Brunt claimed 2 for 24. Gaze’s half-century was in vain as England secured a comfortable win.

The two teams will now face off in a three-match ODI series, starting in Wellington on Monday.

England's Sarah Glenn Ruled Out of T20I and ODI Series with Concussion

England’s Sarah Glenn Ruled Out of T20I and ODI Series with Concussion

England’s T20I and ODI campaign against New Zealand has been dealt a blow with the news that legspinner Sarah Glenn has been ruled out due to concussion. Glenn sustained the injury during the third T20I in Nelson, where she landed heavily after dropping a catch.

Despite initially staying on the field and bowling the next over, Glenn was eventually substituted out for Holly Armitage at the change of innings. She missed the fourth T20I in Wellington and will now miss at least the first two ODIs as she follows the ECB’s Graded Return to Play Protocols.

Glenn’s absence is a significant loss for England, as she is a key member of their spin attack. However, the team was able to replace her with Sophie Ecclestone in Wellington, who returned to the squad after featuring in the Women’s Premier League (WPL).

Alongside Ecclestone, Danni Wyatt, Nat Sciver-Brunt, and Alice Capsey also became available for the fourth T20I, which England won by a commanding 47 runs to wrap up the series.

Offspinner Charlie Dean claimed four wickets in the fourth T20I, and with Ecclestone and Glenn also available, England could field a formidable spin attack for the T20 World Cup in Bangladesh.

Meanwhile, New Zealand have an injury concern of their own after captain Sophie Devine sustained a quad strain in Wellington. Devine was limited to one over and did not bat, and will undergo an MRI scan on Thursday to determine the extent of the injury.

“Probably just a small niggle,” Devine said. “Just looking ahead with the one-dayers being really important with WC [World Championship] points. I probably wanted to get back out there but someone with a bit more of a rational brain kept me off.”

Maia Bouchier's 91 Powers England to T20I Series Victory

Maia Bouchier’s 91 Powers England to T20I Series Victory

England’s Maia Bouchier emerged as a batting sensation, guiding her team to a commanding 47-run victory over New Zealand in the third T20I in Wellington. Bouchier’s blistering 91 propelled England to a formidable 177 for 3, setting an insurmountable target for the hosts.

Bouchier, promoted to open the innings, seized the opportunity with aplomb. Despite an early reprieve on 5, she unleashed a destructive display, reaching her maiden T20I half-century in just 33 balls. Her innings was a masterclass in power-hitting, featuring a magnificent straight six off Hannah Rowe.

Bouchier’s dominance continued as she forged a 75-run partnership with Alice Capsey. Nat Sciver-Brunt and Heather Knight provided the late fireworks, adding 34 runs off just 14 balls. England’s aggressive approach saw them amass 65 runs in the final five overs, leaving New Zealand with a daunting chase.

New Zealand’s hopes were dealt a major blow when captain Sophie Devine suffered a quad strain while bowling. Her absence was keenly felt as the hosts struggled to keep pace with England’s imposing total. Bernadine Bezuidenhout and Amelia Kerr provided some resistance, but Charlie Dean’s four-wicket haul extinguished any hopes of a comeback.

Dean’s impressive performance highlighted England’s bowling strength. Sophie Ecclestone, returning to international duty, was typically economical, despite a rare fielding lapse. Lauren Bell’s early strike on Suzie Bates further weakened New Zealand’s batting lineup.

Bouchier’s outstanding innings and England’s collective dominance secured a series-clinching victory. The visitors’ aggressive approach and clinical execution proved too much for a depleted New Zealand side.

Heather Knight's Heroics Lead England to T20I Series Lead

Heather Knight’s Heroics Lead England to T20I Series Lead

England’s Heather Knight once again proved her mettle as she guided her team to a 15-run victory over New Zealand in the second T20I in Nelson. Knight’s unbeaten 56* lifted England from a precarious 77 for 6 to a competitive 149 for 7.

New Zealand’s chase started promisingly with Sophie Devine and Amelia Kerr at the helm. However, the return of England’s frontline spinners, Charlie Dean, Linsey Smith, and Sarah Glenn, proved decisive. Dean and Glenn had earlier played crucial roles with the bat, supporting Knight’s rescue act.

Smith, making her international comeback after nearly five years, made an immediate impact by dismissing Suzie Bates with her first delivery. Dean then removed Devine, while Gibson’s dismissal of Kerr proved to be the turning point.

As the asking rate climbed, New Zealand’s middle and lower order crumbled under the pressure. Maddy Green’s struggles continued, and Lauren Bell claimed two wickets in three balls to seal the victory for England.

Knight’s innings was a masterclass in composure and adaptability. She played alongside Dean and Glenn to stabilize the innings and then accelerated the scoring rate in the final overs. Her ability to adapt to the situation and play according to the team’s needs is a testament to her leadership qualities.

England’s spinners were the stars of the show, with Dean, Smith, and Glenn combining for figures of 12-0-74-4. Their ability to control the run rate and pick up crucial wickets proved to be the difference between the two sides.

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