Pakistan squandered a 2-0 series lead and had to settle for a 2-2 draw against New Zealand, with their tactics with the bat in focus in the aftermath.

In the third game, Iftikhar Ahmed’s entry point was the subject of much discussion, with the all-rounder just falling short of pulling off a remarkable recovery from No.8. In the decider, Mark Chapman hogged the headlines with a stunning hundred, rescuing New Zealand from 26-3 and hauling them to a chase of 194.

However, it’s the other big innings in the game that arguably cost Pakistan. Mohammad Rizwan made an unbeaten 98 off 62, scoring just over half of Pakistan’s runs from just over half their balls. Rizwan has earned a reputation as one of the most prolific, consistent T20 batters in the world, and has helped found a largely successful era for Pakistan in the format. But a relative slowdown arguably hurt Pakistan at the end of the innings – though Rizwan was not the only player to blame.

The innings can be split into three phases. In the first 11 overs, Pakistan managed 86-3, scoring at under eight an over. In the next six, they almost doubled their score, racing to 165-4, with a run rate of more than 13 runs per over in that time. With three overs left, Rizwan was on 87*, and they had six wickets in hand. But Pakistan managed just 28 more runs at the cost of one more wicket. New Zealand bowled well. Rizwan had to deal with yorkers, and edged some attempted big strokes. But managing just one boundary in his last nine 13 is a subpar return, with his intent particularly clear in the 19th over, when the four which took him to 95 and within sight of a century was followed by two rotating shots for singles.

However, it seemed as if it wasn’t just Rizwan keen on getting to three figures. The roar from the crowd when Faheem Ashraf took a single off the penultimate ball shows how invested they were, as does Faheem’s lack of interest in coming back for a second. Whether Imad Wasim should have agreed to an unlikely single after belting back-to-back boundaries is another question. The reaction which greeted Babar Azam’s century in the second game was a moment to remember, and in some ways, it’s hard to blame Pakistan for trying to create another. But in hindsight, it stopped them from fully maximising their score.

Undoubtedly, there were other factors in New Zealand’s victory – not least Chapman’s own excellence which meant even another 10 runs might not have been enough. Ihsanullah somehow ended up wicketless after tying Chapman in knots in his opening over, and despite a double-wicket opening over, Shaheen Shah Afridi was taken to the cleaners. In particular, Chapman smashed 16 runs off his last over, going to a hundred off its final ball. On 92, he went aerial over Shaheen’s head for four, and on 98 a mow almost proved his undoing but landed safe, allowing him to run two for the milestone. His adventure had brought its reward.