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Pakistan eke out win over New Zealand in the first T20I
Pacer Hasan Ali and right-handed batsman Mohammad Hafeez helped Pakistan beat New Zealand in the first T20I by 2 runs to take a 1-0 lead in the three-match series.
The day started with the Pakistan captain Sarfaraz Ahmed winning the toss and electing to bat first in the series opener.
Hosts get off to worse possible start as they lost in-form Babar Azam at the score of just 8 in the second over. Sahibzada Farhan also perished soon after to see Pakistan lose their openers inside three overs.
A 67-run partnership between Asif Ali and Mohammad put Pakistan right on track to register a decent score on the board. The visitors bowled well and did not allow Pakistan to get away with easy runs.
The star of the show for New Zealand was pacer Adam Milne, who claimed figures of two for 28 in his four overs. He was well supported by spin duo of Ish Sodhi and Ajaz Patel, who picked one wicket apiece.
For Pakistan, Mohammad Hafeez was the standout performer as scored 45 off 36 balls with the help of five fours and two sixes. He was well-supported by Captain Sarfaraz Ahmed who scored 34 off 26 balls with the help of three fours and a six.
In reply, New Zealand had a flying start, courtesy Colin Munro’s quick-fire 58 off just 42 balls with the help of six fours and three sixes. Kane Williamson and Glenn Phillips got good starts and failed to kick on to get a big score.
But once Munro departed, it was a Ross Taylor as produced a valiant effort with the bat to see New Zealand take the game till the final over. Taylor remained 42 not out off just 26 balls with the help of three overs. It proved to not enough as the rest of batting lineup failed to provide support to Taylor to see Pakistan win the game by 2 runs.
For Pakistan, pacer Hasan Ali was the only successful bowler as he claimed figures of three for 35. Mohammad Hafeez was named man of the match for his superb batting performance.
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