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Southee four-for, Seifert 84* overshadow Hafeez 99* as New Zealand take 2-0 lead
Match Report

Southee four-for, Seifert 84* overshadow Hafeez 99* as New Zealand take 2-0 lead

Tim Seifert's unbeaten 84 trumped an outstanding innings from Mohammad Hafeez as New Zealand romped home by en emphatic nine-wicket margin to wrap up a series win over Pakistan.

New Zealand gunned down the 164-run target with four balls to spare with the final delivery of the match seeing a bit of drama unfold in the middle.

Black Caps skipper Kane Williamson, batting on 53, hammered a pull shot off Faheem Ashraf towards the square leg boundary as the ball just brushed the fingertips of Wahab Riaz to trickle away to the fence for the winning runs.

The tone for New Zealand's commanding triumph was set by Williamson and Seifert's immaculate 129-run stand, barely allowing the visitors to climb back into the contest.

Martin Guptill began the Kiwis' chase with a couple of lusty blows but was caught trying to go for another slog off the bowling of Faheem.

The early wicket slightly pegged back the scoring rate as New Zealand stumbled to 46 by the end of the Powerplay.

Seifert then unleashed a belligerent onslaught to phenomenally shift the momentum towards the home side in the subsequent over delivered by Wahab. The left-arm paceman's length balls were severely punished by Seifert, who deposited three gigantic sixes in the over and later did not let the spinners find their lines.

A number of misfields hampered Pakistan's attempts at building pressure as Shaheen Afridi and Khushdil Shah slipped a couple of times while collecting the ball.

The sharp precision that marked Haris Rauf's incisive spell of bowling on Friday night was absent this time around, helping the duo of Seifert and Williamson to milk him through the off-side region for frequent singles and doubles.

On a flat surface with short boundaries, the sub-par total was always going to be tough for Pakistan to defend and New Zealand's extraordinary batting display showed where their counterparts lacked.

Pakistan were plagued by another ordinary start as their Powerplay woes persisted against the extra bounce generated by Tim Southee.

Similar to how Jacob Duffy wreaked havoc in the first T20I, Southee destroyed Pakistan's top-order with a hint of seam movement.

Pakistan's batting inefficiency was masked by a stunning effort from 40-year-old Hafeez, who ploughed his way through by timing everything with the middle of his bat.

Hafeez initially took time amidst Southee's terrific spell by biding for time. He eventually took control of Pakistan's innings at the halfway mark and discharged a freewheeling charge to lift his team out of dire straits.

Lower-order resistance was hard to come by for Hafeez as he strode forward like a lone ranger and blasted five sixes and 10 boundaries in his splendid knock.

The last three balls of his innings went for six, four and six as he finished just one run short of a well-deserved T20I century.