Jimmy Neesham

The third T20 international match in the recently concluded series between New Zealand and Pakistan saw the play being interrupted due to an excessive leak of sunlight. Pakistan 2-0 down in the three-match T20 series in New Zealand reached the McLean Park, Napier hoping to get a consolation in a much disappointing tour so far. Having won the toss, Pakistani skipper Shadab Khan opted to bowl first. 

The Most Unusual Break In A T20 Game

It was a little past midway through New Zealand’s innings when the hosts were 85/3 in 11.4 overs, the umpires had to take a break due to the sun. The setting sun in Napier made it difficult for the batsmen to spot the ball. The break lasted only five minutes and the teams were called back soon, avoiding a shortening of any match time. 

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Napier has been a victim to the sunlight many times in the past. Similar sunlight caused break was taken last when Bangladesh was in New Zealand in 2017. The Indian team that visited in 2019 had to see a 30-minute match stop owing to the setting sun. This usually happens in the McLean Park in Napier as the ground is facing towards East-West and normally the surface is built according to the North-South phenomenon.

The sun, however, did help the seamers a bit in the middle. The ball, that swung initially helped Pakistan dismiss Martin Guptill and Kane Williamson inside the powerplay. Haris Rauf, Shaheen Afridi and Faheem Ashraf shared seven wickets amongst themselves.

What Exactly Happened In The Match?

Talking about Pakistan’s performance, New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson said, “Pakistan played really well tonight. I thought our first innings total was a very good one, and life is tougher in the second innings but they showed their class. You have to play really well to chase a total like that. They had good partnerships and it was tough to break it.

He added how they executed their plans well. It was a good game overall and Pakistan putting up a fight was good to see. The series ended in the favour of the hosts. However, there was something for the fans to cheer on for, finally.

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What Shadab Khan Said In A Recent Interview?

Shadab Khan, on the other hand, highlighted that the solid powerplay they had helped them. He also did credit his team-mate Rizwan Khan, who struck a half-century to power the chase across the line. This gave the team a much-needed win that they were craving. 

“We won the power-play in this match. That is why we won the game this time around. We were not winning it in the earlier games, that we lost. The way Hafeez and Rizwan played in this match, shows the right kind of character we need in our team. It was really good learning for me. We currently have a very young team. I have learnt a lot. It is clear, we have made a lot of mistakes on the field. That is where we really need to improve upon, which is certain. The victory would boost our Test team morale as well. Most of our fast bowlers will take the momentum into the Tests as well.”