New test captain Mohammad Rizwan showed his leadership quality in a bold innings of 89 which steered Pakistan to a four-wicket win over New Zealand in the third Twenty20 on Tuesday.
Rizwan will lead Pakistan in the two-match test series against New Zealand starting on Sunday in place of Babar Azam, who is injured.
In Azam’s absence he also opened the batting in all three T20s, making 17 in Auckland and 22 in Hamilton before achieving a maiden half-century and career-best 89 from 59 balls on Tuesday. Rizwan beat his previous best of 33 not out. With Rizwan’s leadership, Pakistan surpassed New Zealand’s moderate total of 173-7 with two balls to spare.
Rizwan batted his team within sight of victory when he was out in the final over at 171-6. Pakistan still needed three runs to win with four balls left. Iftikhar Ahmed settled the issue when he hoisted the fourth ball of the last over out of the ground for six, lifting Pakistan to 177-6. New Zealand had already secured the series but Pakistan’s win at McLean Park sends it into the test series in a much more positive frame of mind.