DUBAI - Senseless batting, overcautious approach cost Pakistan dearly, as they were beaten by New Zealand in the second T20 International played here at Dubai cricket stadium on Friday.
The defeat in the second T20 also levelled the series at 1-1. It was mentioned in the first T20 that Pakistan batting order needed to be changed and Umar AKmal should have sent ahead, but Waqar was justifying his batting order. Now, who is responsible for the loss? Pakistan was never in the hunt right from start, while every day is not Sunday, which Sarfraz Ahmed must understand and should not play sweep to fast bowlers on regular basis and get away.
Pakistan started the run-chase in worst possible fashion and kept on losing wickets at regular intervals. There was hope when Afridi was at the crease, but as soon as Boom Boom was caught out, outside chances of highly unlikely victory of green shirts have also gone. It was not outstanding Kiwis bowling, but poor shot selection and non-serious attitude of captain which inflicted 17-run defeat on Pakistan.
Ahmed Shahzad (33) and Afridi (28) were the major contributors for Pakistan. Jimmy Neesham and Kyle Mills took three wickets each conceding 25 and 26 runs respectively, while Anton Devcich also chipped in with 2-16.
Poor planning and brainless batting order was the main reason behind defeat in the second T20, which Pakistan could have easily won, had Umar Akmal sent ahead of Haris and Saad Nasim. Something fishy fishy was smelled, as the people had already feared and predicated that Pakistan would lose the match. Sarfraz Ahmed was adjudged lbw while trying to hit a cross-batted stroke. He was lucky not to be given out on the previous delivery, but was given out on next one, which was clearly missing the leg stumps. Umpire Shozab Raza melting under pressure raised his finger to uphold the Anton Devcich appeal, who struck second blow with the prize scalp of Hafeez, who was out caught and bowled. Devcich took a well-judged catch to reduce Pakistan at 18-2 in 2.3 overs.
Instead of using commonsense, Afridi once again decided to send Haris Sohail, who again disappointed fans and after struggling, finally gave a simple catch at deep square leg to Tom Latham of the bowling of Henry, as Pakistan was reduced to 24-3. Saad Nasim was given nod ahead of Umar Akmal, who also failed to make his mark. He scored 19 off 21 balls and when he was out, Pakistan team was struggling at 4-67.
Earlier, Afridi, for the second time in running, won the toss and invited Kiwis to bat first. Pakistan made two changes in the second T20. Opener Awais Zia made room for Ahmed Shahzad, while Irfan was rested and Umar Gul was given nod of approval. Surprisingly, New Zealand made four changes, the most surprising of them was the ouster of last match top scorer Corey Anderson, while Martin Guptil, Mitchell McClenaghan and Adam Milne were also dropped and Tom Latham, Daniel Vettori, Kyle Mills and Dean Brownlie were inducted. Kiwis got off to flying start scoring 49 runs in 7 overs without losing wickets. Afridi introduced Hafeez, who provided much-needed breakthrough by removing Anton Devcich. The skipper then bamboozled Kiwis with two quick wickets to left New Zealand reeling at 58-3. New Zealand skipper Williamson was clean bowled on a perfect delivery, who top-scored for the side with 32, while wicketkeeper batsman Luke Ronchi also made quick-fire 31 and Tom Latham 26. At one stage, it seemed New Zealand might not even score 120 runs, but few lusty blows at the depth took them to 144-8.
Umar Gul and Shahid Afridi took two wickets each while Hafeez, Raza Hasan and Sohail Tanvir bagged one wicket each.
Once again for the second day in running, crowd turned out in quite a few numbers and thronged the stadium, but unusual delays, security and vehicles rush prevented them from timely entrance, which resulted in low attendance in the first innings. But the crowd gradually started to build as Pakistan run-chase started. The crowd remained passionate and kept on bucking the team, raising full throat slogan in their favour.
There was hardly any dull moment in the match, as the crowd kept right behind the green caps singing songs, bucking them to hit big shots and entertain them with big shots.
The stands, which were presenting deserted look, all of sudden were packed with the spectators, who were urging Afridi to either come himself or send Umar Akmal, as Saad Nasim was not scoring runs freely.

Scoreboard

NEW ZEALAND :
A Devcich b Hafeez    21
K Williamson b Afridi    32
D Brownlie lbw b Afridi    0
R Taylor lbw b Hasan    7
T Latham c Ali b Gul    26
L Ronchi c Shehzad b Tanvir    31
J Neesham not out    7
D Vettori b Gul    0
N McCullum run out    4
K Mills not out    6
EXTRAS: (w10)    10
TOTAL: (8 wkts; 20 overs)    144
FOW: 1-49, 2-50, 3-58, 4-78, 5-116, 6-127, 7-127, 8-136
BOWLING: Ali 2-0-13-0, Tanvir 4-0-30-1, Gul 4-0-24-2, Hasan 4-0-24-1, Hafeez 2-0-20-1, Afridi 4-0-33-2
PAKISTAN:
Sarfraz Ahmed lbw b Devcich    1
Ahmed Shehzad b Vettori    33
M Hafeez c and b Devcich    9
Haris Sohail c Latham b Henry    3
Saad Nasim c Browlie b Neesham    19
Umar Akmal b Neesham    10
Shahid Afridi c Ronchi b Neesham    28
Anwar Ali c Williamson b Mills    2
Sohail Tanvir c Devcich b Mills    11
Umar Gul c Taylor b Mills    0
Raza Hasan not out    0
EXTRAS: (lb7, nb1, w3)    11
TOTAL: (all out; 18.5 overs)    127
FOW: 1-2, 2-18, 3-24, 4-64, 5-74, 6-97, 7-104, 8-121, 9-122, 10-127
BOWLING: Devcich 4-0-16-2, Henry 2-0-9-1, Mills 3.5-0-26-3, McCullum 3-0-16-0, Vettori 3-0-28-1, Neesham 3-0-25-3
TOSS: Pakistan
UMPIRES: Aleem Dar (PAK) and Shozab Raza (PAK)
TV UMPIRE: Ahmed Shahab (PAK)
MATCH REFEREE: Roshan Mahnama (SRI)