|| AFP ||
Mark Chapman hit a maiden unconquered hundred to anchor New Zealand's six-wicket win against Pakistan in the fifth and final Twenty20 in Rawalpindi on Monday, ending the five-match series level at 2-2.
The 28-year-old smashed an unbeaten 57-ball 104 in a rearguard action to lift New Zealand from a precarious 73-4 to chase down a stiff target of 194 with four balls to spare.
Mohammad Rizwan missed a century by two runs, but still guided Pakistan to a solid 193-5 in their 20 overs.
Chapman led the fightback with a match-turning unbroken fifth wicket stand of 121 off 58 balls with James Neesham, who scored a punishing 25-ball 45 not out as the duo toyed with Pakistan's much-vaunted bowling attack.
Chapman, whose previous highest T20I score was 83 against Scotland at Edinburgh last year, completed his century off 54 balls with a brace off Shaheen Shah Afridi, waving his bat to an applauding dressing room.
In all Chapman hit 11 boundaries and four sixes while Neesham's knock was studded with two sixes and four boundaries as the pair combined to help give New Zealand their 100th T20I win in 192 matches.
Shaheen had given Pakistan a superb start with the wicket of Tim Latham off the very first ball on the innings and Will Young (four) off the fifth.
Chad Bowes (19) and Daryl Mitchell (15) also fell cheaply before Chapman took charge, also benefitting from a dropped catch off Shaheen on 67 by Shadab Khan at long-on.
Pakistan won the first T20 by 88 runs and the second by 38 while New Zealand took the third by four, all in Lahore.
The fourth match was abandoned due to a hailstorm in Rawalpindi.
The victory and a 2-2 result is welcoming for New Zealand who were missing their top eight players including regular skipper Kane Williamson due to the ongoing Indian Premier League.
Pakistan's innings was fashioned around Rizwan's brilliant knock after they were sent in to bat by New Zealand.
The 30-year-old batter struck a 62-ball unbeaten 98 as he missed the last delivery of the innings and with it his second T20I hundred.
Rizwan, who struck four sixes and seven fours, added 71 for the fourth wicket with Iftikhar Ahmed (36) and another 68 for the fifth with Imad Wasim who made 31.
Pakistan raced to 51 in the sixth over when pacer Blair Tickner removed Azam for 19 and Mohammad Haris off successive deliveries to derail a good start.
Saim Ayub also fell without scoring when he handed a return catch to spinner Ish Sodhi without scoring but Ahmed and Rizwan avoided any further loss.
Ahmed hit two sixes and three boundaries off 22 balls while Wasim's 14-ball knock had five boundaries and a six.
For New Zealand Tickner was the best bowler with 3-33.