Blackcaps v Pakistan: Mark Chapman century guides New Zealand to series-drawing win

A maiden Twenty20 century from Mark Chapman has guided the Blackcaps to a series-drawing win over Pakistan at Rawalpindi.

Chapman inspired an unlikely run-chase with an unbeaten 104-run innings, as New Zealand triumphed by six wickets, with four balls to spare.

At 26/3, the Blackcaps stared down the barrel of a series defeat, after Pakistan rocked their top-order with express fast-bowling, but the in-form Chapman, who saved his best knock for last, showed little fear in the face of an imposing target of 194.

Chapman in action.
Chapman in action. Photo credit: Getty Images

He and James Neesham put on an unbeaten 121-run partnership to shock the hosts. Not to be understated, Neesham struck a crucial 45 runs off just 25 balls to ease the pressure off Chapman.

Chapman finished as the top runscorer for the series, with 290 from five games, as New Zealand claimed their 100th T20 win in sensational fashion.

At several points, they seemed likely another defeat and a 3-1 series loss looked the most likely result, until late in the fixture.

Pakistani opener Mohammed Rizwan hit an unbeaten 98 runs, with lower-order batters Iftikhar Ahmed and Imad Wasim offering handy knocks.

Ahmed (36) and Wasim (31) fought back to halt New Zealand's comeback with the ball, with fast bowler Blair Tickner leading the way.

Tickner removed Azam (19), before dismissing Mohammad Haris for a golden duck, with Ish Sodhi taking the catch in the outfield.

Sodhi's strike the very next over pegged Pakistan back, with a caught and bowled effort sending Saim Ayub on his way, without troubling the score.

The Blackcaps couldn't find the key wicket of Rizwan, with the wicketkeeper-opener guiding Pakistan to 193/5 for their 20 overs.

New Zealand's run chase couldn't have got off to a worse start, losing captain Tom Latham with the very first ball of the innings.

No.3 batter Will Young followed just four balls later, with Shaheen Shah Afridi again finding the edge to leave the visitors reeling.

Early signs from opener Chad Bowes hinted at a Blackcaps revival, as he found the boundary rope on four occasions, but after he played onto his stumps, New Zealand were 26/3 with a mountain to climb, as Chapman made his way to the middle.

Daryl Mitchell's wicket at the halfway mark meant the Blackcaps still needed 121 runs off the final 10 overs.

Along with the destructive hitting of Neehsam, Chapman treated the Pakistani bowlers with disdain, hitting 11 fours and four sixes.

His only hiccup came on 67, with a miss-timed shot down the ground, but the deep fielder wasn't able to hold onto a simple, but ultimately costly chance.

The dropped catch did little to knock his confidence, as he only upped the ante, making what should've been an uncomfortable chase an easy one.

Pakistan 193/5 (Rizwan 98no, Ahmed 36; Tickner 3/33) New Zealand 194/4 (Chapman 104no, Neesham 45no; Wasim 2/21) 

NZ win by six wickets