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Pak, NZ match abandoned due to hailstorm

New Zealand batters Mark Chapman and Chad Bowes struck half-centuries against Pakistan before a strong hailstorm brought a premature end to the fourth Twenty20 on Thursday.

Chapman was unbeaten on 71 and New Zealand was in sight of posting a strong total at 164-5 in 18.5 over before heavy rain and hail forced the players off the field. The umpire then called off the game.

Pakistan leads the five-match series 2-1 with the final match scheduled next Monday at the same Pindi Cricket Stadium.

Skipper Tom Latham (13) provided the Kiwis an aggressive start when he smashed Pakistan’s premier fast bowler Shaheen Shah Afridi for three boundaries in the first over after Babar Azam won the toss and elected to field.

Latham couldn’t last long when Babar turned to Imad Wasim’s left-arm spin inside the powerplay which earned Pakistan two quick wickets. Latham top-edged Wasim to deep square leg as he tried to sweep the spinner and Will Young (6) was clean bowled off a delivery that stayed low.

Bowes, who made 54, also showed early aggression against Afridi when he hit three more boundaries in the left-arm fast bowler’s second over as New Zealand raced to 50-2 in the powerplay.

But Wasim was brilliant with his left-arm spin and had Daryl Mitchell stumped in his third over before finishing with impressive figures of 3-19.

Bowes revived New Zealand with a 54-run fourth wicket stand with Chapman as the opening batter raised his maiden T20 half-century with a four and a six against leg-spinner Shadab Khan before Afridi returned and plucked a stunning return catch to dismiss Bowes.

Chapman then took charge against Pakistan seamers in the death overs, smashing three consecutive boundaries against Zaman Khan to raise his second half-century in the series before rain arrived and ended the game prematurely in no result.

Next match: Monday

By Saif R Siddiqui

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