Pakistan clinically defeated New Zealand in the first T20I of the 5-T20I series at the Gaddafi Stadium, Lahore. After posting 182 on the board despite a hat-trick by Matt Henry, Pakistan’s bowling was too hot to handle, as the Kiwis middle-order panicked, triggering a tame surrender and a subsequent 88-run loss for the Kiwis.
Pakistan won the toss and opted to bat first at the Gaddafi Stadium, Lahore in the first of five T20Is against New Zealand. Adam Milne got rid of the usual suspects, Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan, early, before Fakhar Zaman and Salim Ayub settled in and accelerated the scoring rate to lead a recovery. The fruitful stand of 79 runs was ended by a run-out, as Ayub was found short of his crease to a brilliant throw from Chad Bowes, three runs short of his fifty.
However, Matt Henry then picked up Ifthikar Ahmed and Shadab Khan in quick succession to put pressure back on the Pakistan batting. Faheem Ashraf and Imad Wasim then played some sensible cricket, putting away bad balls for boundaries, and gave the Pakistan total some respect, before Imad Wasim was dismissed by Neesham. Off the first ball of the 19th over, Matt Henry earned himself a hat-trick (he was on a hat-trick after the dismissal of Shadab Khan, and only bowled again six overs later) with the dismissal of Shahid Afiridi. Rauf and Ashraf dealt some lusty blows at the death, but the habit of losing wickets in packs meant that Pakistan were all out for 182 with a ball to spare.
The Pakistan bowlers were tight in their defence of 182, as Shaheen started off with an accurate new ball over, before Zaman Khan took a terrific LBW review call to get Matt Bowes for one. Shaheen Afridi got rid of Will Young in the next over, dealing New Zealand early blows in pursuit of 183, and just when Daryl Mitchell got going with a couple of boundaries, Faheem Ashraf dismissed him to keep the procession going.
Chapman and Latham attempted to lead a recovery, and stabilised things without losing wickets. However, the rising required rate was starting to tell, and Latham departed in the 11th over, with the run-rate below 6rpo. Chapman attempted to counterattack,and hammered Shadab Khan for two fours and a six, but was dismissed off the fifth ball of the same over. When Chapman was dismissed with the score on 75, his wicket triggered a panic, and subsequently, a dramatic collapse, from 75-4 to 94 all out – 6 wickets for 19 runs, in just 22 balls. Haris Rauf was the pick of the bowlers with 4 wickets to show for his work.
The second and the third T20Is are set to be held at the Gaddafi stadium too, before the teams head to Rawalpindi for the fifth and sixth. The second T20I will be played the very next day, i.e., Saturday (April 15).
Brief Scores: Pakistan 182 all out in 19.5 overs(Saim Ayub 47, Fakhar Zaman 47, Matt Henry 3-32, Ben Lister 2-30)beat New Zealand 94 all out in 15.3 overs(Mark Chapman 34, Tom Latham 20, Haris Rauf 4-17, Imad Wasim 2-2)by 88 runs.