Record stand powers New Zealand in fourth T20 at Hagley Oval

Publish Date
Friday, 19 January 2024, 10:00PM

By Kris Shannon

After blowing away Pakistan in the first three T20s, the Black Caps finally encountered some adversity on Friday night.

Once Daryl Mitchell and Glenn Phillips got going, the final result was the same.

The middle-order batters combined for an unbroken 139-run stand for the fourth wicket at Hagley Oval, hauling their side out of an early hole and powering them to a fourth straight victory.

Chasing 159 on a surface that, unlike those earlier in the series, offered some assistance to the bowlers, New Zealand had been reduced to 20-3 in the third over.

But with the aid of generous fielding from Pakistan, Mitchell (72no off 44) and Phillips (70no off 52) rendered that a mere blip in an otherwise ascendant week, completing a seven-wicket win with 11 balls to spare.

Their match-winning stand was the highest fourth-wicket partnership for the Black Caps in T20s, the pair consolidating before accumulating and, eventually, attacking.

It all proved too much for the tourists, who might have been quietly content with their 158-5, given teams batting first in T20Is at Hagley had an average score of 162.

Mohammad Rizwan (90no off 63) took almost sole responsibility for reaching that competitive score, the world’s third-ranked batsman having previously collected 56 runs in three innings.

Rizwan lost his partner in the second over as, after the Black Caps won their first toss, Matt Henry found the edge of Saim Ayub. Henry (2-22) was well assisted by Lockie Ferguson (2-27) as the seamers found some movement, though Rizwan pressured Adam Milne to hit him off his line.

Pakistan ended the powerplay on 51-1 before Milne responded by getting a false shot from Babar Azam, removing the key man for fewer than 50 for the first time this series. His departure combined with Mitchell Santner’s introduction to change the course of the innings.

In seven middle overs, Pakistan managed only 35 runs, as Santner (0-23) changed his pace while extracting turn and bounce. The pressure eventually told and Ferguson nabbed two wickets in the 13th.

Through the first 18 overs, only Rizwan and Azam found the fence. But Mohammad Nawaz ended that drought by lashing three straight sixes from Milne’s penultimate over, giving Shaheen Shah Afridi something to work with.

The skipper started that work in style. Pakistan would have been forgiven for flinching when Finn Allen began by blasting consecutive boundaries, considering the record-breaking damage he did on Wednesday, but next ball Afridi induced a leading edge.

Three deliveries later, the Black Caps were in trouble for the first time, as Tim Seifert chipped Afridi straight to mid-on. And when Afridi removed Will Young — playing in place of Devon Conway, who withdrew through Covid — the tourists were right on top.

Their position could have been enhanced when Phillips slashed through a vacant first slip to begin Afridi’s third over, as the Black Caps stumbled through the powerplay on 38-3, before Mitchell enjoyed a greater escape.

The No 4 was on 19 when his slog sweep headed straight for Mohammad Wasim on the boundary, but the fielder inexplicably let the ball drop barely in front. The hosts recovered to 70-3 after 10 overs, needing a further 89, before Phillips drove the first six of the innings and registered his half-century.

Having regained control, New Zealand hardly needed more help, but that’s what Sahibzada Farhan provided in the 14th over, shelling a shocker off Mitchell in his first international since 2018.

And once Mitchell celebrated that life by passing 50 with a six, he and Phillips raced past their target in a hurry.

This article was first published on and is republished here with permission

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