Marks out of 10: Player ratings for Pakistan after their 2-2 T20I drawn series against New Zealand
Despite having taken a 2-0 lead, Pakistan lost two of their last three matches (the other was a washout) as New Zealand squared the series, from which here are Pakistan’s player ratings.
Babar Azam – 7/10
5 matches, 130 runs @ 43.33, SR 146; one 100, HS: 101*
A glorious 58-ball 101 not out for Babar in the second match, but there was little else through the series. A refreshing change was his strike rate of 146, significantly higher than the 128 over his career. Simon Doull, are you reading this?
Mohammad Rizwan – 6.5/10
5 matches, 162 runs @ 54.00, SR 140; two 50s, HS: 98*; 3 catches, 1 stumping
Rizwan made more runs than Babar, but at a slightly slower pace. It can be debated whether the pace of his 98 not out – he struck at 158 on the famously high-scoring Rawalpindi strip – in the final T20I ended up costing Pakistan the match. For context, Mark Chapman and Jimmy Neesham added 121 in under 10 overs later that night.
Iftikhar Ahmed – 8/10
5 matches, 129 runs @ 43.00, SR 195; one 50, HS: 60
Only 66 balls for ‘Ifti-Chachu’ in the series – but that was enough for a cameo in the second match and a near-miracle in the third, where his 24-ball 60 could not make up for some sluggish batting up the order. The mania is here to stay.
Faheem Ashraf – 7/10
5 matches, 50 runs @ 25.00, SR 161; HS: 27
1 wicket @ 78.00, ER 9.36; BBI: 1-17
Two rapid cameos and two brief spells of seam bowling, all of them in the first and third matches, kept Faheem relevant among the ocean of all-rounders Pakistan can choose from.
Fakhar Zaman – 3/10
4 matches, 64 runs @ 21.33, SR 112; HS: 47; 4 catches
Is this Fakhar’s format? He certainly impressed in the first match with a 34-ball 47, but was insipid for the next two before being left out of the XI for the decider.
Saim Ayub – 3/10
5 matches, 57 runs @ 14.25, SR 133; HS: 47
Saim began the series with a 28-ball 47, and seemed set for more until Chad Bowes ran him out in spectacular fashion. He did not do much of note in the other matches.
Imad Wasim – 9/10
5 matches, 52 runs @ 13.00, SR 141; HS: 31
8 wickets @ 10.37, ER 5.92; BBI: 3-19
Imad got a wicket every 10.5 balls while going at under six an over. These are excellent numbers by any standards, but he should also get a bonus point for that 14-ball 31 in the fifth match.
Shadab Khan – 2/10
5 matches, 21 runs @ 10.50, SR 95; HS: 16
3 wickets @ 48, ER 9.60; BBI: 1-27
A forgettable series for Pakistan’s most important T20I cricketer, where he neither got quick runs nor picked wickets nor contained runs. He is a better cricketer than this.
Haris Rauf – 9/10
5 matches, 11 wickets @ 13.63, ER 7.75; two 4WIs, BBI: 4-18
Bowling at searing pace, Haris remained a threat for the New Zealand batters throughout the series. He took 4-18 and 4-27 in Pakistan’s two wins – performances so good that the 4-0-31-2 in the third match seem ordinary.
Shaheen Shah Afridi – 7/10
5 matches, 6 wickets @ 26.16, ER 8.72; BBI: 2-33
Shaheen was excellent in the first three matches before going for runs in the last two. While not as devastating as Rauf, Shaheen bowled with control, particularly in the second T20I where he conceded 25 in four overs while defending 193.
Zaman Khan – 5/10
3 matches, 2 wickets @ 34.50, ER 7.66; BBI: 1-7
Zaman got the nod thrice in the series. He was reasonably quick, and did a decent job of supporting the senior fast bowlers. His time will come.
Mohammad Haris – 1/10
1 match, 0 (1)
Haris came out inside the powerplay, slogged the first ball he faced, and was out caught. On another day, the same shot might have fetched him runs.
Naseem Shah – 6/10
1 match, 4-0-30-0
Naseem bowled well in his only outing, finishing as the second-most economical bowler in the total of 163-5 despite bowling two overs in the powerplay and one at the death.
Ihsanullah – 4/10
1 match, 4-0-39-0
Like Naseem, Ihsanullah played a solitary match as well – and did slightly worse than Naseem, albeit while defending 194.