In the first Twenty20 international at Auckland’s Eden Park on Friday, New Zealand beat Pakistan by five wickets.
After losing the toss and being set a target of 154, the Black Caps finished on 156 for five with seven balls to spare.
With 57, Tim Seifert top-scored for the hosts, while Jacob Duffy, the debutant paceman, took four for 33. Duffy was named the man of the match as well.
Despite a battle for 42 by stand-in captain Shadab Khan, Pakistan never recovered from a slow start. Haris Rauf was the best bowler for the visitors, taking three for 29.
Pakistan had managed to reach 153 runs for the loss of 9 wickets, after winning the toss and opting to bat first.
As the hosts lost four wickets-Abdullah Shafique, Haider Ali, Muhammad Hafeez and Muhammad Rizwan-in the first five overs with only 20 runs on the board, Pakistan’s innings got off to a rocky start.
After Babar’s injury, Shadab, who leads the team, provided some consistency and anchored the innings, scoring 42 out of 32 balls before Duffy was dismissed.
After arrival in New Zealand, Pakistan had a rocky preparation for the match when 10 of their touring party tested positive for Covid-19 during quarantine.
Players were also reprimanded by local health officials for violating the guidelines on social distancing and were unable to practise until they were permitted to depart their hotel on 8 December.
Shadab said it was a relief to be playing at last.
“We want to put a score on it he said, eyeing the short limits of Eden Park. Pakistan is without daily captain Babar Azam, who last week injured his thumb during exercise.
Without daily Captain Kane Williamson, the Black Caps are also missing, following the birth of his first child.
Replacement Mitchell Santner said his side needed to build on the victory over the West Indies against a talented Pakistan team in the recent 2-0 T20 series.
We know it’s a quality hand,” he said, “but we’re up for a fight, and I believe we’re able.
The Black Caps are still without injured fast bowler Lockie Ferguson, an anti-West Indies series man, and veteran batsman Ross Taylor, who was dropped in the T20s after battling for form. Jacob Duffy’s paceman makes his debut.
In the world’s T20 rankings, Pakistan is fourth and New Zealand is sixth.
Fresh Zealand: Devon Conway, Martin Guptill, Tim Seifert, Glenn Phillips, Jimmy Neesham, Mitchell Santner (capt), Mark Chapman, Scott Kuggeleijn, Ish Sodhi, Blair Tickner, Jacob Duffy.
Pakistan: Mohammad Rizwan, Abdullah Shafique, Haider Ali, Mohammad Hafeez, Khushdil Shah, Shadab Khan (capt), Imad Wasim, Faheem Ashraf, Wahab Riaz, Haris Rauf, Shaheen Afridi.
Umpires: Shaun Haig (NZL), Knights of Wayne (NZL)
TV umpire: Chris Brown (NZL) Referee: Jeff Crowe Match: Jeff Crowe (NZL)