Saeed Ajmal spun Pakistan to a seven run victory in the second Twenty20 against the BLACKCAPS at Dubai Sports City Stadium, Dubai.
Ajmal didn’t rip through the batting line up but contained at key times and took the crutial wicket of Brendon McCullum late in the game when it looked like match was slipping away.
It is a record seventh straight victory for Pakistan who are also the current World Champions.
Pakistan won the toss and opted to bat and Kamran Akmal and Imran Nazir came out blazing, putting on 40 off 4.3 before Ian Butler knocked over Imran Nazir for 19.
Butler then broke through again trapping Kamran Akmal LBW for six to have Pakistan 51 for two.
The wickets didn’t slow the run-rate with the Pakistani batman only knowing one speed and although their shots weren’t all out of the text book they were effective.
Shahid Alfridi struck 22 off 17 before he was caught on the boundary attempting to hit Nathan McCullum out of the ground. But with the score on 96 for three after 12.1 a solid plaftform was in place.
The BLACKCAPS then got a couple of quick wickets with Butler removing Shoaib Malik for seven to net his third wicket and James Franklin nicking out Abdul Razzaq for a duck to pull things back to 114 for five.
The bowling attack stuck to the task and was well supported in the field, managing to keep Pakistan to 153 at the end of the innings when a much higher score was looking likely.
The not out batsmen were Umar Akmal who hit 56 off 49 and Fawad Alam who made 17 off 13.
Butler, who took plenty of tap in the first Twenty20, was much improved today, finishing with three for 28.
BJ Watling and Brendon McCullum opened the batting for the BLACKAPS and put on 20 before Watling was caught behind for seven.
Martin Guptill and McCullum looked to be building nicely before Guptill chopped on for 17 to reduce the BLACKCAPS to 46 for two.
That became 66 for three when Ross Taylor was trapped LBW by Alfridi for 13 but Scott Stris and McCullum then combined to take the BLACKCAPS close.
The pair put on 66 for the fourth wicket and took the score through to 132 for four.
Ajmal then took the crutial wicket of McCullum for 47 with the BLACKCAPS still needing 22 from ten balls.
Needing 17 off the final over Syris hit the first ball for six but was unable to find the rope again and was caught of the final ball for 47 with the BLACKAPS falling seven runs short.
The two teams play a three match Test series in New Zealand starting 24 November at the University Oval in Dunedin.