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Pak vs NZ: In major blow to Green Shirts, Abbas Afridi ruled out of third T20I

Abbas Afridi has been ruled out of the 3rd T20I against New Zealand due to discomfort from a low-grade abdominal wall muscle strain, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) said in a statement on Tuesday.

The third T20I match is set to take place tomorrow (Wednesday) in Dunedin.

The PCB said the fast bowler’s scan showed no sign of significant injury, and “he will be managed symptomatically”.

The cricket governing body said Abbas’ availability for the last two games will be made at a later stage.

His exclusion would be a big loss to the team as Afridi was the leading wicket taker for team along with Haris Rauf even though they have been in lost causes.

New Zealand beat Pakistan by 21 runs in the second Twenty20 international to take a 2-0 series lead.

The tourists threw away a strong position in their run chase after Babar Azam and Fakhar Zaman scored half-centuries as they were dismissed for 173 in the final over, in response to New Zealand’s 194-8.

Victory came at a cost for the Black Caps, whose captain Kane Williamson retired hurt with a hamstring injury while batting, placing him in doubt for the remainder of the five-match series.

The match bore similarities to New Zealand’s 46-run win in the opening match in Auckland on Friday, with another aggressive batting approach led from the top by Finn Allen.

His 70 off 41 balls continued a run of form which the hard-hitting opener attributed to a change of approach.

“I’ve been working hard on assessing conditions and choosing when to pull the trigger,” Allen said.

“I’m always looking to score boundaries and be positive but it’s situational. It’s when to take a higher-risk option or a lower risk.”

The target looked within sight for Pakistan before Fakhar was bowled by Milne for a power-packed 50 off 25 balls in the 10th over, leaving Pakistan 97-3.

They struggled from that point, with only Babar looking a threat until he was caught off Ben Sears for 66.

Milne finished with 4-33, having earlier removed the dangerous Mohammad Rizwan as Pakistan lost both openers with just 10 runs on the board.

New Zealand were again asked to bat first and Allen immediately took on the visitors´ attack, blasting five sixes and seven fours.