Pakistan has easily defeated New Zealand by 88 runs in the first T20 match to take a one-nil lead in the five-match series.
Chasing the target of 184 runs set by Pakistan, New Zealand were bowled out for just 94 runs in the 16th over at the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore on Friday.
Mark Chapman scored the most runs with 34. Opener Tom Latham was dismissed after scoring 20 runs. Seven players on the Kiwi team could not get into double figures.
Haris Rauf, the fast bowler on behalf of Pakistan, showed the way to the pavilion for four players of the visiting team by showing good bowling.
Imad Wasim took two, while Shaheen Shah Afridi, Zaman Khan, Shadab Khan, and Faheem Ashraf got one each.
In the first match of the five-match T20 series, Pakistan batted first and set New Zealand a target of 183 runs.
Pakistan was all out after scoring 182 runs in the 20th over. Fakhiz Zaman and Saeem Ayub scored 47 and 47 runs, while Matt Henry took three wickets for New Zealand.
Pakistan’s Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan made a disappointing start to the innings, and Rizwan was left LBW off Adam Milne at a total score of 14. Babar was also bowled by Adam Milne; he could only score nine runs.
After the fall of the first two wickets, Fakhar Zaman and Saeem Ayub took the field and rained six fours. At one point, the Green Shirts were scoring at an average rate of 10 runs per over, and it looked like Pakistan would easily score more than 200 runs, but Saeem Ayub was run out. He scored 47 runs. He also shared a partnership of 79 runs with Fakhar Zaman.
After Saeem Ayub’s dismissal, Pakistan’s middle order looked under pressure, and three wickets fell. Matt Henry added to Pakistan’s woes by dismissing Shadab Khan first and then Iftikhar Ahmed for a wicket in the very next ball. The rest ended with the dismissal of Fakhar Zaman, who scored 47 runs and took a catch off the ball from Ash Sodhi.
Imad Wasim and Faheem Ashraf took the score a bit further, but Imad also left the pavilion early. He scored 16 runs. The eighth player to get out was Shaheen Shah Afridi, who was caught brilliantly on the boundary off Matt Henry. Matt Henry also completed his hat-trick by dismissing Shaheen. He is the fourth bowler to take a hat-trick in T20Is for New Zealand.
In the 20th over, first Faheem Ashraf scored 22 runs and was caught out by Ben Lister, and just one ball later, Haris Rauf was also caught trying to hit.
Babar Azam, Mohammad Rizwan, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Haris Rauf, and Fakhar Zaman have returned to the national team after being rested for the T20I series against Afghanistan in Sharjah last month.
Pakistan’s record in recent T20 matches against New Zealand has been very good.
The Green Shirts have won four of the last five matches between the two teams.
Pakistan’s playing XI in the first T20 included Babar Azam (captain), Mohammad Rizwan, Fakhar Zaman, Saeem Ayub, Shadab Khan, Iftikhar Ahmed, Imad Wasim, Faheem Ashraf, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Haris Rauf, and Zaman Khan.
Similarly, New Zealand’s line-up included Tom Latham, Chad Boyce, Will Young, Daryl Mitchell, Mark Chapman, James Neesham, Rachin Ravindra, Adam Mill, Matt Henry, Ish Sodhi, and Ben Lister.