AUCKLAND (Dunya News) – New Zealand beat Pakistan by five wickets in the first Twenty20 International (T20I) at Auckland’s Eden Park on Friday with seven balls to spare and took 1-0 lead in the three match series. The Kiwis ended on 156-5 after the Green Shirts set them a target of 154 runs.
Tim Seifert remained the top scorer for the hosts with 57 off 43. Mark Chapman registered 34 runs in 20 balls. Pakistan’s Haris Rauf dismissed three batsmen while Shaheen Afridi picked up two wickets.
Earlier, Pakistan scored 153 runs for the loss of nine wickets after a late fightback by captain Shadab Khan and all-rounder Faheem Ashraf following a poor start by the visitors.
Pakistan had won the toss and decided to bat first but stumbled to 20-4 in 4.1 overs. Shadab Khan and Faheem Ashraf scored 42 off 32 and 31 off 18 respectively but the Green Shirts could not recover from their slow start.
Abdullah Shafique and Mohammad Hafeez scored ducks for the Green Shirts who were led by Shadab Khan as regular skipper Babar Azam was ruled out due to injury. New Zealand’s Jacob Duffy – who made his debut – and Scott Kuggeleijn picked up four and three wickets respectively.
Shadab Khan said at toss, “Looks a very good pitch. We want to put a score [on the board]. Proud moment for me and my family. We’ll miss Babar but it’s a good opportunity for the rest to step up. We are looking forward. We’ve prepared well and now it’s show time"
New Zealand’s Mitchell Santner said, “Looks like a good wicket. We’re pretty happy to bowl. Another great opportunity to lead the side. Jacob Duffy makes his debut. Todd Astle and Doug Bracewell miss out. Every time you represent your country, it’s a big deal, and he’ll take the challenge on. Pakistan are a quality side, with pace and spin and quality in the batting. We’re ready for them.”
Pakistan: Mohammad Rizwan, Abdullah Shafique, Haider Ali, Mohammad Hafeez, Shadab Khan, Khushdil Shah, Imad Wasim, Faheem Ashraf, Wahab Riaz, Shaheen Afridi, Haris Rauf
New Zealand: Martin Guptill, Tim Seifert, Devon Conway, Glenn Phillips, James Neesham, Mitchell Santner, Mark Chapman, Scott Kuggeleijn, Ish Sodhi, Jacob Duffy, Blair Ticker