Tim Seifert’s 84 not out trumped an unbeaten 99 by Mohammad Hafeez as New Zealand claimed the second Twenty20 against Pakistan by nine wickets in Hamilton on Sunday to take the series with a game to spare.
The Black Caps chased down Pakistan’s 163 for six with four balls to spare, after winning the first game in Auckland by five wickets.
Kane Williamson, back in the side after paternity leave, hit the winning runs with a boundary to be not out 57 but said the game was all about the bowling of man-of-the-match Tim Southee and the batting of Seifert and Hafeez.
Seifert faced 63 balls for his 84, while Hafeez was in destructive form, which he attributed to taking up golf, as he plundered 99 from 57 deliveries while Southee restricted the remaining Pakistan batsmen with four for 21.
“It was a good surface, one that had a little bit for the bowlers and obviously if you could build partnerships you could gain some momentum,” Williamson said.
“It was really satisfying to get across the line. A fantastic knock by Seifert, a really good effort with the ball and obviously a brilliant knock by Hafeez, the master.”
Opener Seifert batted through the innings and although denied a century because of the quality of his partners, he did match his career-best 84 against India last year.
He put on 35 for the first wicket with Martin Guptill, who was out for 21, and shared in a 129-run stand with Williamson.
The 40-year-old Hafeez, out first ball in Auckland, was almost on his own for Pakistan with a career-best 99 which included 10 fours and five sixes.
It was his fourth half-century from six innings in the past year and he put the consistency down to taking up golf.
“I started golf last year and I realised the basics of the game are similar – good balance, good base, good swing, good follow-through that really worked for my cricket in the last year,” he said.
Mohammad Rizwan’s 22 was the next best score for Pakistan and captain Shadab Khan put the lack of a decent total down to his players not adapting to New Zealand conditions.
“It’s not a technique issue, we’re not used to the pitches and that’s why the conditions are a little bit difficult,” he said. “We have young openers and they will learn quickly, hopefully.”
Tim Southee was the pick of the New Zealand bowlers with four for 21.