T20 World Cup 2021: Pakistan vs New Zealand: Asif Ali and Shoaib Malik does it for Pakistan chasing a tricky score against New Zealand. Ish Sodhi was the pick of the bowler for the Men in Black.
Winning the toss again Pakistan invited their opponent to bat first and as it has been seen Chasing is comparatively easy. Steady but not an ideal start New Zealand would have hoped for in the powerplay. Losing Martin Guptill and scoring at 6 per over. The run rate would have been higher.
Taking four wickets, Haris Rauf was literally unplayable. Giving the breakthrough whenever Pakistan asked for. Starting from Martin Guptill, then Devon Conway, Glenn Phillips, and at last Mitchell Santner in the death. All this with just giving away 22 runs, and taking the Player of the Match award.
New Zealand liked India lacked a led performance, which never came. Kane Williamson tried to hold tight but a foolish run call cost him the wicket. Had he stayed longer NZ would have been able to put a nice score.
Mr. Afridi was again fantastic, though not getting enough wickets, he didn’t give runs. With him, Imad Wasim was also impressive. Getting rid of the opener well set was key to restrict New Zealand to a minimum.
Devon Conway’s cameo fell short as he failed to convert the start he got. Getting runs against quality bowling was never going to be easy and help from the wicket was good at the start of the innings. New Zealand did well eventually getting to 134 runs.
A similar start emerged for Pakistan as well, as New Zealand kept the pressure on. Being economical was one part but getting the Pakistan skipper’s wicket very early was huge. Babar Azam neglected to read Southee’s slower ball and swung it towards the leg side, unable to connect the ball which bamboozled the woodwork.
A superb performance from Ish Sodhi trapping both Fakhar Zaman and Mohammad Rizwan LBW when New Zealand was in desperation for wickets. Some poor deliveries from the New Zealand bowlers which Pakistan made full use of opened the pressure built initially.
Mohammad Hafeez and Imad Wasim played six and twelve deliveries respectively and played decently. We witness one of the best catches in ICC tournaments from Devon Conway to help Santner dismiss Hafeez.
Looking to bounce back, New Zealand had controlled it well till the 15th over. However, the arrival of Asif Ali on the crease turned the tables around. His powerful innings which included three sixes was enough to rattle Pakistan for a win.
Well-held support from Shoaib Malik on the other end was also very crucial to stop the falling wickets. Tim Southee had a decent night but not enough to contest for a win.
Pakistan are now two from two, a fantastic start to their ICC T20 World Cup 2021 campaign. They will be facing Afghanistan on 29th October at Dubai International Stadium.
While New Zealand lost their first match will be facing India who also lost their first match against Pakistan. Both teams will be desperate to come back and gain some valuable points to their name.
ICC T20 World Cup 2021: Pakistan vs New Zealand post match presentation
“I am always happy with a win and it gives us a lot of confidence. It was a team effort, the way we started with the ball and the way spinners bowled and finally, Haris Rauf bowled really well. Mainly the fielding effort was exceptional. We leaked 10 or so more runs and when we came out to bat, early the wickets fell. Malik’s effort was crucial and Asif Ali batted with maturity and finished off things. We want to take it day by day and make sure we perform on the day of the match.”
“It is very disappointing. We were quite optimistic at the halfway mark, but this is a good Pakistan side who managed to take it over the line. The boys could not nail it on the end. The bowlers were outstanding for 80 percent of the game. We had planned to keep it on the stumps but once there were poor deliveries, the batters pounced on them and took the game away from us. We have a lot of positives to take from this game. Also, the venue is also different and the opponent as well, India is a good looking side. We will hope to come back stronger in the next game.”