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imageWELLINGTON: Abu Mahmoods hat-trick helped Pakistan to overcome the Vantage Black Sticks Men 4-2 in the third test in Wellington.

The Green-shirts played with a raised intensity following Saturday nights 2-2 draw, with a glut of penalty corner attempts proving too much for the Kiwis to stop.

Pakistan maintaining halftime 1-0 lead, thanks to a penalty corner strike from Abdul Haseem Khan in the sixth minute charged ahead with Mahmood delivering three second half flicks past the New Zealand penalty corner defence.

Kiwis head coach Darren Smith talking to Hockey New Zealand said while it was a disappointing result, it was a good learning experience for many of the younger players. The coach praised Pakistan skills, specially the Green-shirts ability to score some nice corners.

We started pretty well but got caught in the second and third quarters. Pakistans basic skills were very good and they scored some nice corners, he told local media after the match.

Carrying a one goal lead into halftime, Pakistan doubled their advantage minutes after the break when Mahmood slammed a drag flick low and into the side of the goal.

Mahmood brought up his double in the 35th minute with almost an instant replay of his first goal, following another penalty corner.

The Black Sticks responded in the 45th minute with Cory Bennett ripping home a penalty corner flick.

Mahmood scored his third with a 53rd minute strike before Stephen Jenness send home an absolute screamer with an upright reverse right on the stroke of fulltime.

With the series locked up at 1-1, the Pakistan and Vantage Black Sticks now head to Wairarapa for the fourth and fifth tests on 22nd and 23rd March.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2017

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