New Zealand managed to keep their hopes of winning the T20 series against Pakistan alive by defeating the home team in a thrilling encounter by four runs. While the game looked to be over after New Zealand posted their highest score of the series, a late onslaught by Iftikhar Ahmed threatened to undo all their hard work. But in the end, the Kiwis held their nerve to secure a crucial victory.

The game was a classic example of how T20 cricket can be so unpredictable.

New Zealand, who had struggled with the bat in the previous games, finally managed to put up a competitive total thanks to a captain’s knock from Tom Latham and contributions from the lower order. However, even a total of 163 looked to be below par on a pitch that had aided batting throughout the series.

Pakistan would have fancied their chances of chasing down the target easily, especially with the kind of firepower they had in their batting lineup. But their top order misfired, and they were left with too much to do in the end. The middle order, which had been the team’s strength in the previous games, also failed to fire, with the Kiwi bowlers putting in a disciplined performance.

It was only Iftikhar Ahmed’s breathtaking onslaught of hitting that kept Pakistan in the game. The right-hander, who had been in good form in the previous game, once again showed his class as he smashed six fours and four sixes to take his team close to the target. But it was not to be, as he perished trying to hit a six off the penultimate ball of the game, with Pakistan needing 5 runs to win.

For New Zealand, it was a much-needed victory, as they had been outplayed in the previous game. They would have been disappointed with their performances in the first two games of the series, especially with the bat. But they finally managed to put up a competitive total, and their bowlers did the rest. The Kiwis were especially impressive in the field, taking some brilliant catches to keep the pressure on Pakistan. They knew that they had to be at their best to compete with a team that had been in red-hot form in the previous games, and they delivered when it mattered.

For Pakistan, it was a missed opportunity to seal the series.

They had been the better team in the first two games, and they would have been confident of sealing the series with a victory in the third game. But their batting let them down, and they were left to rue what could have been. The fourth and final game of the series promises to be a thrilling encounter, with both teams eager to end the series on a high. Pakistan will be looking to seal the series with a win, while New Zealand will be hoping to level the series and salvage some pride.

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