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Nz vs Pak 1st T20: New Zealand beat Pakistan by five wickets

By Bet Barter

December 21, 2020

New Zealand sailed to a five-wicket victory over Pakistan in the first Twenty20 match at Auckland's Eden Park. The hosts finished 156 for five with seven balls left.

Tim Seifert was the top-scorer for the hosts with 57 runs. This was his fourth half-century. On the other hand, debutant paceman Jacob Duffy took four and gave away 33 runs. He had help from Mark Chapman who scored 34. And Mitchell Santner was 12 not out at the end.

Pakistan could not recover from a slow start despite fighting 42 runs from the stand-in captain Shadab Khan. Haris Rauf performed well for the visitors as he grabbed three for 29 runs. Pakistan did not have a great start as ten of their players tested positive for Covid-19 during quarantine after arriving in New Zealand.

The players also received criticism from local health authorities for fraying social distancing rules. The team was unable to train until they were allowed to go out of their hotel on December 8.

On the other hand, New Zealand was coming off a 2-0 series win over the West Indies. They finished the series in home conditions. Jacob Duffy was awarded Man of the as he made a sensational start. The bowler dismissed opener Abdullah Shafique for a duck in his first over.

Mitchell Santner led his team to victory with a six to seal the win

The all-rounder claimed wickets of Rizwan and Hafeez as Pakistan lost three wickets in three balls. After the dismissal, the visitors were 20 for four.

Khushdil Shah was out for 16 when he ill-timed a ball from Ish Sodhi straight to Guptill in the field. Khan tried to rescue the innings as he smashed 42 from 32 balls before Duffy coaxed a top edge to Sodhi.

New Zealand did not have a great start as their key players, Guptill and Conway in the first four overs. Pakistan's bowlers picked up two quick wickets from Rauf restricted New Zealand to 72 for three after the end of 10-overs.

Seifert smashed his half-century in 35 balls but was out on 57 after a sharp catch from Ashraf. The upcoming second and third T20 International is going to be in Hamilton and Napier on Sunday and Tuesday, respectively. The first two Tests will start in Mount Maunganui on December 26.

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