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Shaheen's three-fer and Rizwan's 45 not out guide Pakistan to easy win

Rawalpindi, 20 April 2024: Fast bowler Mohammad Amir took two for 13 in his first international match in four years as Pakistan romped to a comfortable seven-wicket victory over New Zealand in the second T20I at the Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium on Saturday.

Amir dismissed Tim Robinson on his second delivery and added the scalp of Dean Foxcroft eight balls later as New Zealand were sent tumbling out for 90 in 18.1 overs. Pakistan raced to victory in the 13th over, losing three wickets along the way.

Shaheen Shah Afridi was once again the pick of Pakistan's bowlers when he returned figures of 3.1-0-13-3. He picked up the wickets of Tim Seifert (12), Cole McConchie (15), and last-man Ben Lister (1).

After Shaheen and Amir caused the initial damage, wrist spinners Abrar Ahmed and Shadab Khan joined the party. Abrar, bowling for the first time in T20Is, picked up two for 15, while Shadab Khan also returned identical figures.

Naseem Shah, bowling for the first time in international cricket since September 2023, bagged one for 27 as New Zealand's batters found the going tough. Mark Chapman, with 19, was the top-scorer.

Chasing a modest total, Mohammad Rizwan returned unbeaten on a 34-ball 45 to guide his side to a six-wicket victory with more than seven overs to spare. Rizwan struck four fours and a six.

Saim Ayub started off aggressively by hitting the first ball for a boundary but departed next ball after Lister brought off a stunning return catch. Babar Azam was stumped off the opposite number Michael Bracewell for 14, while Usman's first outing in T20Is lasted just six balls before he was cleaned up by Ish Sodhi.

Muhammad Irfan Khan, also batting for the first time in Pakistan colors, scored a run-a-ball 18 not out and added 36 runs for the unfinished fourth wicket with Rizwan.

The first T20I on Thursday was rained off after two balls, while the third T20I will be played here on Sunday. The remaining two matches will be played in Lahore on 25 and 27 April, respectively.

Scores in brief:

2nd T20I – Pakistan beat New Zealand by seven wickets

New Zealand 90 all out, 18.1 overs (Shaheen Shah Afridi 3-13, Abrar Ahmed 2-15, Shadab Khan 2-15)

Pakistan 92-3, 12.1 overs (Mohammad Rizwan 45 not out, Mohammad Irfan Khan 18 not out)

Player of the match – Shaheen Shah Afridi (Pakistan)