Pakistan made it two in two after beating New Zealand by five wickets in the Super 12 game at the Sharjah Cricket Ground on October 26. The match was closely fought even though the scoreboard might not suggest so. Having said that, Pakistan displayed a wonderful temperament and a positive approach in this game.
Pakistan won the toss and elected to bowl first. New Zealand got a platform but no one managed to go and get a big score which could push them a good total. Martin Guptill got 17 while Daryl Mitchell made 27. Skipper Kane Williamson made 25 runs as well. Devon Conway contributed 27 runs while Glenn Philips made 13 runs. All of this gave them a total of 134 for 8.
For Pakistan, Haris Rauf picked up four scalps while Mohammad Hafeez, Imad Wasim and Shaheen Afridi picked up a wicket each. Just as New Zealand, Pakistan batters also found it tough to get going but the contributions came at the right time. Mohammad Rizwan made 33 runs, Fakhar Zaman and Hafeez made 11 runs each.
But, it was Shoaib Malik’s 26 runs and Asif Ali’s 12-ball 27 which helped them get over the line in 18.4 overs. Ish Sodhi picked up two scalps for New Zealand while Trent Boult, Tim Southee and Mitchell Santner picked up a wicket each as well.
Haris Rauf: The right-arm bowler had a really good time on the field with the bowl. He adjusted well with the conditions and managed to deliver well at the death as well. He picked up the crucial wickets of Martin Guptill, Devon Conway, Mitchell Santner and Glenn Phillips. He also conceded only 22 runs in his four overs.
Shoaib Malik and Asif Ali: There was a moment in Pakistan’s innings when things got really tricky and they could have lost the game. But it was the stand between Malik and Ali that managed to pull things off for them. But, the stand yielded 49 runs from just 23 balls which helped them get to the finish line and beyond.
- Tim Southee became the third bowler to take 100 T20I wickets, after Lasith Malinga (107) and Shakib Al Hasan.
Pakistan will now take on Afghanistan on October 29 while New Zealand will take on India next on October 31.