Pakistan : 105 (19.4) New Zealand : 106/3 (15.5)
Man of the Match: Colin Munro
New Zealand continued their remarkable home run and demolition of Pakistan into the shortest format by clinching a 7 wicket win in Wellington.
On a surface that was unconventional for T20 cricket, which aided bounce and seam attack, New Zealand seamers thrived with Tim Southee and Seth Rance picking three wickets each.
Pakistan were headed for a disappointing score before Babar Azam and Hasan Ali saved them the blushes. Yet, a total of 105 runs was always going to be tough to defend. Pakistan started well in that attempt by picking two early wickets but a brisk knock of an unbeaten 49 by World No 1 T20 batsman Colin Munro snatched the game away from them. Tom Bruce also played a partner role at the other end before Ross Taylor got the hosts near the finish line. The win gives New Zealand a 1-0 lead in the three match series.
Pakistan skipper, Sarfraz Ahmed is downcast. Admits that losing wickets early was the key and they could never recover. Feels that not able to keep wickets in hand and inability to play the new ball created the havoc. Hopes to play well in the second match. Praises the new-ball bowlers of his own side and feels 140-150 could have been defended.
Man Of The Match, Colin Munro, says that it was very pleasing for him and the team to get over the line. Admits that it was a tricky wicket, so took some time to settle. It was about trying to bat as deep as possible for him. Wouldn’t call that a shocker of a wicket, he says, but yes, it was pretty up and down. Is happy that the Kiwis managed to restrict Pakistan to 105. On his own batting consistency, he says that he has evolved in the last 12 months. Initially, he was only playong well in th shorter format but he has been training hard and the improvement can be seen. On his hand, which was bruised thanks to a hit from a throw, Munro plays it down, saying that it is alright, just needs to be kept under ice for some time.
After being bowled out for 105, not many teams come out firing with the ball but Pakistan showed some gumption for a fight, at least in the Powerplay. They had the Kiwis 8/2 by the 4th over but could not quite build on that. Rumman Raees and Shadab Khan bowled superbly while the rest were ineffective. 6th loss in a row in international cricket for Pakistan in New Zealand. Stay tuned for the presentation…
Pretty unfortunate then, given the way the match ended. Colin Munro looked in great shape to get to his half century but a hat-trick of boundaries from Ross Taylor changed the scenario. Otherwise, a good game for the Kiwis, with Munro dominating proceedings but they would have wished the likes of Glenn Phillips and Tom Bruce to take centrestage.