NZ win by 5 wickets
… and with seven balls to spare. Mitch Santner, the captain, hooks Riaz for a six and gets his team home. 1-0 to the hosts then, with two more matches to go.
Shaheen concedes 15 runs in 18th over
With 21 needed off 18 balls, Neesham hits Shaheen Afridi for two sixes in the over, rolls his ankle over and even has Pakistan losing a review over a delivery that was going down leg. But more importantly, he has New Zealand staring at a win. Can they do it in the 19th over?
Another blow to NZ
Seifert departs…clever, slower one from Shaheen Afridi. The NZ keeper wants to go downtown and goes hard at it, too early though. Miscues it to mid-on where Faheem takes a running backwards catch with perfection. Pakistan have been excellent with their catching today. That’s a big blow to NZ, their lone warrior until now departs for 57 off 43.
Seifert brings up his half-century with a brace. He’s led this chase, despite losing three men at the other end at regular intervals.
And Phillips’ stay has been cut short
Improper timing on that big shot from Phillips. Good length ball on middle and off. Clean, high hit but still fails to clear the man at deep midwicket. He goes for an entertaining 23 off 18.
No fireworks from Conway
Harris Rauf strikes this time to take out one of the batting heroes of NZ’s series win over WI just last month – Devon Conway. Length ball around off, and the batsman pushes at it tentatively – straight back to the bowler. Two early wickets for Pakistan and it’s match on!
Stunning catch from Shadab, that! Guptil wants to lift that one over the mid off but he fails to get the distance. Shadab covers a fairly big distance and then throws himself at it to pouch the tough chance! Had his eyes on the ball throughout, and that helped. Beautiful catch and that’s an opening for Pakistan. Good start overall to their defense – two tight overs followed by this key wicket by Afridi. Here’s Devon Conway.
Back for the chase! Guptil and Tim Seifert out to kick off NZ’s reply.
If it wasn’t for skipper Shadab Khan’s counterattack and some lusty blows towards the fag end, Pakistan were staring down the barrel at 79/6. Shadab and Faheem Ashraf hit an identical three sixes and two boundaries each in their cameos that has given them a respectable score. Can they defend this though in Auckland’s tiny ground? We shall find out soon enough! Back in 15.
Third wicket for Kuggerleijn too
Pakistan were throwing their bat at everything, and what other choice did they have? But NZ persisted with the short ball ploy, and Kuggeleijn has struck with one to pick up his third wicket in the form of Wahab Riaz. He looks to go downtown, but is undone by the bounce as well. Thick edge that carried straight to Santner at long off.
And the visitors punish Duffy for the remainder of that over.. three sixes to soil his near perfect debut.
Four for Duffy
Such has been his day today – Duffy sprays one down the legside and Shadab looks to flick it. The ball takes the leading to short third man and that’s the end of the Paksitan skipper as well. 114 for 7 now.
Stand-in captaim Mitchell Santner impressing once again. He finishes with 4-0-18-0
Kuggeleijn get his second
Banged in short and into the surface. Imad Wasim shows intent, but unfortunately picks out the third man fielder with perfection. Six down now.
Ish Sodhi joins the party
He removes Khushdil with a wrong’un. The batsmen didn’t spot it at all. Goes for a mighty swipe, playing against the turn. Gets a thick leading edge straight to Guptill at cover-point. Pakistan five down now, and have 42 on the board after 9 overs.
Hattrick… for New Zealand
Pakistan in all sorts of disarray at the moment! Kuggeleijn joins the party as he takes out Haider Ali off the first ball of the fifth over and the visitors have three big wickets in as many deliveries! Haider getting undone by extra bounce there, he’s early into his shot. Ball lobs up and the bowlers completes the formalities in his follow-through. Pakistan in deep trouble at 20/4.
Duffy’s got two in two now – the debut is getting better and better. Rizwan was the first to go, the pressure of lack of runs getting to him. He wants to go big, and comes down the track but only finds the toe-end of the ball to pop a chance to Glenn Phillips at mid-off, who makes no mistake whatsoever. Sharp catch. Hafeez, then, gift wraps his wicket as well for the debutant. Short and wide and he goes for a pull. Balloons a simple catch to mid-on.
Duffy strikes early on debut
Maiden T20I wicket with his fourth ball on debut. Gets Abdullah Shafique with a chip to mid-on and isn’t he happy about it. Pakistan 8/1, in walks Haider Ali.
New Zealand: Martin Guptill, Tim Seifert(w), Devon Conway, Glenn Phillips, James Neesham, Mitchell Santner(c), Mark Chapman, Scott Kuggeleijn, Ish Sodhi, Jacob Duffy, Blair Tickner
Pakistan:Mohammad Rizwan(w), Abdullah Shafique, Haider Ali, Mohammad Hafeez, Shadab Khan(c), Khushdil Shah, Imad Wasim, Faheem Ashraf, Wahab Riaz, Shaheen Afridi, Haris Rauf
TOSS: Pakistan opt to bat first
Toss coming up in moments from now. Don’t go anywhere!
Back to cricket, Did you Pakistan have beaten NZ in all their last five meetings? Their winning streak dates back to Jan 2018, at this very venue, Auckland. However, this time around, both teams have personnel issues. For starters, the two teams are without their regular captains and that’s a bigger blow to Pakistan because NZ welcome back Williamson later in the series. NZ have rested a bunch of their first-choice pacers, following their Test series win over WI. And that could be an advantage Pakistan will look to exploit in these batsmen-friendly conditions that are expected to make for high-scoring encounters. Then again, they are without their most prolific run scorer and captain, Babar Azam. Match preview here.
Hello and welcome to our live blog for the first T20I between the hosts New Zealand and Pakistan.
Pakistan arrived here and found themselves in a soup immediately with news of isolation protocol breaches and then half a dozen COVID-19 positives in their camp. They were warned by NZ government, their own board, following which they even contemplated pulling out. But better sense prevailed and here he we are with series ready for take-off.