Azam and Rauf star in Pakistan’s T20I win over NZ17 April 2023
Skipper Babar Azam smashed a magnificent century while pace bowler Haris Rauf took four wickets as Pakistan beat New Zealand by 38 runs in the second T20 International (T20I) match in Lahore on Saturday.
Azam, who fell for just nine in his 100th T20I on Friday, compensated with a brisk 58-ball 101 not out to lift Pakistan to a solid 192-4 in their 20 overs.
Rauf, who took a career best 4-18 in Pakistan's 88-run win in the series opener, finished with 4-27 to restrict New Zealand to 154-7.
Pakistan now lead the five-match series 2-0 with the last three matches in Lahore (April 17) and Rawalpindi (April 20 and 24).
"I am very happy to perform in this match," said Azam, who is now the joint most successful T20I captain with 42 wins, alongside England's Eoin Morgan and Afghanistan's Asghar Afghan.
"I had two good partnerships and then our bowling was once again excellent. We have got experienced and exciting young bowlers who gave us back-to-back wins."
Mark Chapman scored a battling 65 not out for New Zealand featuring four fours and as many sixes, but lost partners at regular intervals after the tourists made a decent start.
Chad Bowes (26) and skipper Tom Latham (19) put on 44 for the first wicket in 6.2 overs, but as the asking rate soared New Zealand's chase lost steam.
"We have been there or thereabouts but weren't able to finish the innings off, both with the ball and bat," said Latham.
"When Babar plays like that, you tip your hat off."
Azam was the mainstay of the Pakistan innings after he won the toss and chose to bat.
He smashed a six and two fours in the last over to reach his third T20I century, becoming only the sixth batter to do so in the shortest format at international level.
Azam put on 99 for the opening wicket with Mohammad Rizwan, who scored 50 off 34 balls.
Azam, whose knock included 11 fours and three sixes, then added 87 for the fifth wicket with Iftikhar Ahmed, who finished 33 not out as the home team added 65 runs in the last five overs.