Pakistan wrap up T20 series at Bay Oval
Pakistan beat New Zealand by 18 runs at Mount Maunganui on Sunday to wrap up a 2-1 Twenty20 international series victory and return to the top of the ICC rankings.
The Black Caps had whitewashed the five-match ODI series between these sides but Sarfraz Ahmed's men will leave New Zealand with their heads held high after coming from behind to win this contest.
After Fakhar Zaman (46) and Sarfraz (29) had laid the foundations, Pakistan punished their hosts for a string of late drops, and Umar Amin's seven-ball onslaught for 21 runs boosted them to 181-6 from their allocation.
Close boundaries at Bay Oval helped Martin Guptill to a typically bludgeoned 59 off 43 balls, but no other batsman could hang around for long enough to reel Pakistan in as the hosts finished 163-6.
The crucial stage in the contest was the final four overs of Pakistan's innings as New Zealand's sloppy fielding allowed them to add 58 runs in 24 balls.
Amin scored 20 of his runs off four consecutive Ish Sodhi deliveries, the second of which was dropped in the deep by Colin de Grandhomme, although the bowler had the last laugh with the final delivery of the over.
However, Kane Williamson's side remained their own worst enemies and Aamer Yamin was dropped over the rope for four by Tom Bruce before hitting the last ball of the innings for another maximum to give Pakistan the momentum.
Williamson fell for just nine off 14 deliveries, and Guptill's attempts to get New Zealand up with the rate fell short, despite him hitting four sixes and two fours.
Anaru Kitchen ate up 19 deliveries for just 16 runs to put the pressure on the lower middle order and Ross Taylor was unable to wrest back control, despite three maximums as his 11-ball 25 was not enough.
BREAKING: @TheRealPCB have returned to the top of the @MRFWorldwide ICC T20I Team Rankings for the third time in as many months after winning their three-match series against New Zealand.-- ICC (@ICC) January 28, 2018