Babar Azam led the way with the bad after bowlers restricted New Zealand to a below-par score as Pakistan made it two wins out of two in the ongoing tri-series ahead of the T20 World Cup.

Having been tasked with chasing the day after setting a target at Hagley Oval, Pakistani bowlers took timely wickets to restrict the hosts to just 147/8 from their 20 overs.

Mohammad Wasim removed Finn Allen for 13 before Kane Williamson (31) and Devon Conway (36) managed to add some runs for the Kiwis. However, Mohammad Nawaz accounted for the pair to dent their hopes of putting a strong total on the board.

Mark Chapman threatened late on with a quickfire 32 off 16 balls but New Zealand only managed to set a below-par target for the visitors.

Haris Rauf finished with 4-0-28-3 while Mohammad Wasim and Mohammad Nawaz took two wickets apiece as Shahnawaz Dahani accounted for one.

In reply, Pakistan got off to a rocky start with the number 1 T20 batter in the world Mohammad Rizwan sent back for 4 after struggling to find his rhythm against New Zealand’s pace attack.

In his stead, Babar Azam took control of the chase, masterfully finding boundaries to keep the required run rate under control even as Shan Masood failed to add a single run to the chase.

Shadab Khan then showed his batting chops smacking 34 off 22 balls as Pakistan drew closer to the win before Trent Boult threatened their win with a late burst only for Babar to once again steer his side home with six wickets and 10 balls to spare.

Pakistan’s captain remained not out on 79.

New Zealand will now face Bangladesh in their second tri-series match as Pakistan get some much-needed rest.

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