Pakistan beat New Zealand in the first T20 International in Mohammad Amir's comeback
Mohammad Amir made a good all round performance in the first Twenty20 internationals against New Zealand at Eden Park, Auckland. All eyes of the cricketing world were on Amir as he made his international comeback in this match.
Amir was banned for five years by the ICC for spot-fixing in 2011. The Kiwis were looking to continue their super show, but the visitors took the aggression to them by winning by 16 runs.
It was a fascinating match of the shortest format of the game. The Kiwis won the toss and elected to bowl first. The Kiwis were still missing their captain and opening aggressive batsman Brendon McCullum.
Pakistan got off to flying start, as both their openers were looking to take on the Kiwi bowlers. Mohammad Hafeez made a huge contribution as he played a superb innings of 61 off just 47 balls.
Pakistan captain Shahid Afridi played a destructive cameo innings of 23 off just 8 balls with a strike rate of 287.5. He was equally supported by senior players Shoaib Malik and Umar Akmal. Young Imad Wasim also chipped in with 18 runs off only 9 balls as the visitors put up a fighting total of 171 for the loss of eight wickets in the scheduled 20 overs.
The pick of the New Zealand bowlers was clearly Adam Milne, who picked up four wickets. Mitchell Santner also picked up two important wickets. Matt Henry and Tent Boult chipped in with one wicket each.
The Kiwis opened their innings with Martin Guptill and their stand in captain Kane Williamson. Martin Guptill was run-out by the combination of Afridi and Imad. Williamson and Colin Munro then formed a superb second wicket partnership but neither of the two were able take their side over the rope.
Williamson played a fighting innings of 70 of 60 balls. But the star of the New Zealand team was Munro. His 56 of just 27 balls almost won the match for the hosts. After the duo’s departure, the middle and lower-middle order of New Zealand crumbled in front of the Pakistani bowling.
Skipper Shahid Afridi led the team from the front by picking up two crutial wickets. Veteran fast-bowler Umar Gul also picked up two wickets. But the star of Pakistan’s bowling was Wahab Riaz with three wickets. Imad and Amir chipped in with one wicked each.
This win will surely give lot of confidence to the Pakistani side to do well in this tour.
Brief Scores- PAK 171/8 (Hafeez 61, Akmal 24; Milne 4/37) beat NZ 155 all out (Williamson 70, Munro 56; Riaz 3/34)