Nathan McCullum stars in series win

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New Zealand 185 for 7 (Guptill 44, Franklin 40, Ajmal 3-35) beat Pakistan 146 for 9 (Hafeez 46, McCullum 4-16) by 39 runs.

Nathan McCullum’s terrific spell, in which he took 4 for 16, derailed Pakistan after the visitors had made a fiery start in pursuit of the target of 185. Hafeez had led the chase with 46 but wickets fell constantly at the other end and the eventual margin of victory for New Zealand was a massive one.

New Zealand’s strong total had been built on useful contributions from the top order before Peter McGlashan’s innovative hitting provided the ideal finish. The hosts have now taken a 2-0 lead in the three match series, an impressive performance considering they are without their best players, Daniel Vettori and Brendon McCullum.

New Zealand 185 for 7 (Guptill 44, Franklin 40, Ajmal 3-35) v Pakistan.

Contributions from Martin Guptill, James Franklin, Scott Styris, Ross Taylor and a gem of an innings from Peter McGlashan led New Zealand to 185 for 7 in the second Twenty20 at Seddon Park. Pakistan made regular breakthroughs, but were unable to stem the flow of runs for extended periods of time, as their fast bowlers struggled for consistency. New Zealand laid a solid platform with a 91-run partnership for the second wicket, and rarely eased up on the accelerator, until McGlashan’s sparkling 26 from 10 deliveries turned a good total into an excellent one.

Abdul Razzaq began the first over with an embarrassing dead ball that pitched at his feet, but was celebrating soon after when Jesse Ryder gloved down the leg-side off the first legal delivery of the match. The opening exchanges were negotiated with care as Shoaib Akhtar touched 150kph, but Guptill quickly proved he had lost little of the form and even less of the panache from his half-century in the first Twenty20, with a spate of assured strikes.

Razzak was elegantly lofted over wide long-on for six in his second over, before being hit for two fours; a thump through midwicket followed by a delicate tickle to fine leg. Akhtar didn’t escape the Guptill onslaught either, as he was dispatched for fourteen in his second over. A classy swivel off the hips that landed inches inside the ropes confirmed Guptill’s confidence, even as Franklin struggled to get going at the other end, after being promoted up the order.

It wasn’t long before Shahid Afridi had spinners operating at both ends to haul in the run-rate and the desired effect was eventually achieved with two quick strikes. Guptill was out for 44 to a Saeed Ajmal doosra, as Afridi ran back from midwicket to a take a high, swirling catch and Franklin was dismissed in the next over, just as he’d begun to score more freely. The brakes had been momentarily applied.

While slowing down the pace meant a dip in the run-rate, reintroducing the seamers had the opposite effect for Pakistan. The Umar Gul yorker, perhaps the most dependable of its kind in world cricket, seemed to have deserted the bowler today, as Styris swatted the off-length deliveries for 16 in one over. Gul’s troubles were exacerbated in his next over by McGlashan, who thrilled the Hamilton crowd with a scintillating array of inventive sweeps, to propel New Zealand towards a superb total.

Twice McGlashan swept over fine leg, dragging balls from well outside off stump and manipulating the wrists to get the desired elevation and direction, before Afridi was forced to make the field change. Putting a fine leg out meant bringing the third man in, and McGlashan was quick to adapt. A drive past cover brought up the third consecutive four of the over, but the next two deliveries were met by two jaw-dropping reverse pulls, both of which sailed over the ropes to complete a stunning five ball burst in which 24 runs were plundered.

Taylor took the innings through to the close with a giant slog-swept six and a series of singles, and despite the fall of wickets towards the end of the innings, New Zealand finished on a commanding total. Pakistan’s top order will have to fire for the first time on tour if they are to get anywhere close.
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This post was submitted by Mudit Agrawal.

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