Abdul Razzaq produced a man-of-the-match performance with bat and ball to ensure Pakistan salvaged some credibility and embarrassed New Zealand by 103 runs in their third and final Twenty20 international in Christchurch yesterday.
Razzaq, who was dropped by Nathan McCullum while on two in the 19th over, proceeded to smash three sixes and three fours and finish 34 not out off 11 balls and help his side to a credible 183 for six in their 20 overs.
The 31-year-old medium fast bowler then destroyed New Zealand’s batting lineup taking three wickets as the hosts, who had already wrapped up the series after wins in Auckland and Hamilton, crashed to 11-5 before limping to 80 all out.
The hosts had lost four wickets for three runs in the first 17 balls with Jesse Ryder, Martin Guptill, Dean Brownlie and captain Ross Taylor all failing to score.
Razzaq finished with figures of 3-13 off four overs, though the return was only inflated when Scott Styris hit successive boundaries off his final two balls.
Styris was the only New Zealand batsmen to emerge with any credibility, top scoring with 45 to ensure they avoided achieving the lowest international Twenty20 score of 67, held by Kenya.
Pakistan captain Shahid Afridi finished with 4-14 off 2.5 overs, including two wickets in two balls in his second over.
Pakistan’s openers Ahmed Shehzad and Mohammad Hafeez had given their side a superb start, racing along at more than 10 runs an over as they exploited the superb batting surface, short boundaries and fielding restrictions.
James Franklin finally broke the opening stand with the score on 81 when Hafeez was caught one handed by a leaping Taylor for 34.
Shehzad was then trapped LBW by Franklin for 54 to reduce Pakistan to 90 for two in the 11th over and while their middle order struggled, Razzaq turned the game in the final two overs.
The teams now embark on a two-Test series, starting in Hamilton on Jan. 7, before playing six one-day internationals as they build-up to the 50-over World Cup, which starts on Feb. 19.