Pakistan beat New Zealand by two runs to win the 1st T20I in the United Arab Emirates. By winning, Pakistan joined India as the only other team to win seven consecutive T20I matches thrice. Sarfraz Ahmed-led Pakistan has been in ominous form in the shortest version of the game for quite some time now. Pakistan is deservingly the No 1 T20I team in the world currently. Earlier, Pakistan also blanked Australia in Dubai to reinstate their form. Also Read - Coronavirus: Anushka Sharma Shares Adorable Moment With Virat Kohli During COVID-19 Lockdown, Lists Positives During Self-Quarantine | SEE POST
It was young Shaheen Afridi who defended 17 runs in the final over to help Pakistan win the match narrowly by two runs. Pakistan had won the toss and opted to bat first on a placid wicket in Abu Dhabi’s Sheikh Zayed Stadium. The Men in Green set a target of 149 for the Kiwis to chase. For Pakistan, Hafeez top-scored with 45 off 36 balls as Asif Ali (24) and Sarfraz Ahmed (34) made healthy contributions. Also Read - Anushka Sharma Reflects on Her Realisations During COVID-19 Lockdown, Says ‘Our BASIC is Not Basic For Everyone’
The victory gave world number one ranked Pakistan their seventh consecutive win since July and 15th in 17 Twenty20 internationals this year.
Chasing 149, the Kiwis got off to a decent start as Colin Munro scored 58 off 42 balls. Ross Taylor too remained not out on 42 off 26 balls but that was not good enough to take the Kiwis over the line.
“New Zealand are a tough team, but we knew overs 6-12 were crucial and we had to restrict them there,” said Sarfraz.
“I thought Shaheen and Hasan were superb and we were once again led admirably by bowlers.”
Williamson believed his team came close to victory.
“We weren’t far away, I thought we were quite good for large parts,” said Williamson. “Pakistan pulled back after Munro’s knock — they are world number one for a reason.”