About the Match
An enthralling show by Pakistan in the first T20 match against hosts New Zealand led them to victory by 16 runs and landed them with a 1-0 lead in the 3-match T20 series. The two teams will face off in the 2nd T20 match at Hamilton on 17th January; the Kiwis will be wary against the impressive Pakistani attack and try to bounce back to keep the series alive. On the other hand, Pakistan has done tremendously well to face the stiff challenges from New Zealand and rise up to the occasion; they will definitely try their best to continue with their winning momentum and win the series.
Santner yet again proved his mastery with spin bowling as he took 2-14 in 4 overs and slowed down the Pakistani batting line-up; Adam Milne was superb with his 4-wicket haul while Boult and Henry took a wicket apiece but the opposition got to a competitive total of 171 runs in the end.
Chasing the challenging target, Williamson led the team from the front as he posted a well-made 70 off 60 deliveries and along with Munro, who scored a blazing 56 off just 27 balls, he tried to steer the team towards the finish line. But the captain’s efforts went in vain as the rest of the batsmen like Anderson, Ronchi and Santner down the order went out for a duck and others like Elliott and debutante Astle, who couldn’t impress with the ball too in his first T20I, were left helpless. They were all-out for 155 runs against a dominating Pakistani spell.
They will have to find answers for the spinners here while formulating some strategy against the rejuvenated pace attack of the Pakistan contingent; the batsmen haven’t performed their best and will need to come out all guns blazing here to keep the series alive.
It was Shahid Afridi all the way as he scalped 2-26 and caused 3 dismissals with his superb fielding skills; he also contributed with a blistering 23 off just 8 balls in the first innings to provide the fillip to Pakistan’s scoreboard. Wahab Riaz put up an impressive show as he took 3 scalps, giving away only 34 runs to stifle the opponents while Umar Gul contributed with 2 wickets to pressurise the Kiwis.
Earlier, the batting performance by Mohammad Hafeez, who scored 61 off 47, gave them a good start while Umar Akmal, Shoaib Malik, Afridi and Imad Wasim contributed with quick runs to get them to a respectable total of 171 runs. The bowlers held their nerves together and ensured that the team got their first win to earn the upper hand in the series.
With a strong bowling attack comprising of speedsters like Riaz and come-back bowler Mohammad Amir, they are quite a formidable force to reckon with; the spinners have been consistent with the wickets and continue to throw in surprises to the opposition. If they can stay motivated to build good foundation whether batting first or during chase, Pakistan surely has the skills to win the series.
Pakistan surely has stupefied New Zealand with their all-round performance in the first match and pose a stiff challenge to the hosts; Kiwis played well in the first ten overs while chasing, but scoreboard pressure got better of them. The Kiwis are known to perform well when pushed against the wall and with the home advantage, they look well placed to make a comeback with a much-needed win on Sunday