Debutant Jacob Duffy had starred in the opening game of the series between New Zealand and Pakistan as the hosts ramped through the batting line up of the visitors. After opting to bat first at the small ground of Eden Park, Auckland, Pakistan were off to a bad start losing four wickets inside the powerplay. The appointed captain, Shadab Khan gave some hopes but it was too easy for New Zealand to go 1-nil up in the series.
The 1st T20I match between New Zealand and Pakistan was scheduled at the Eden Park, Auckland. The regular captains of both the teams were not available as Kane Williamson is on paternity leave while Babar Azam, the all-format captain, had injured himself earlier after arriving in New Zealand. In his place, Shadab Khan is captaining Pakistan. Khan has got a 0-1 record in his captaincy so far.
Pakistan innings – Duffy, Kuggelejin tatter Pakistan
After some early jolts to the tour where Pakistan had considered pulling out of the tour amid their positive cases of coronavirus, the series finally started. But it started in not the best of the manners (for New Zealand).
Mohammad Rizwan and youngster Abdullah Shafique opened the innings for Pakistan. Captain Mitchell Santner opened the bowling for New Zealand. Jacob Duffy, who made his debut for New Zealand in the game, came out to bowl in the second over and immediately impacted. He got the wicket of Shafique on the fourth ball and pegging the visitors 8-1.
Haider Ali came out to bat next but he too had a short stay at the crease. After 3.4 overs, Pakistan were 20-1. And after the next three deliveries, the score was 20-4. Pakistan had lost three wickets on the consecutive balls. Mohammad Rizwan, Mohammad Hafeez, who is having a great T20 season but failed in this game, and Haider Ali were all out on the consecutive deliveries to halt the innings.
Duffy, in the process had picked up three wickets out of four. After that the innings never stabled. Pakistan clearly lost in the middle start losing continuous wickets and the runs dried. Their newly appointed captain, Shadab Khan showed some resistance but no one helped him from the other end. But Duffy came back in the 18th over and picked up the wicket of the opposition’s skipper. He contributed 42 runs of 32 balls.
Faheem Ashraf lately hit some lusty blows to take the score over 150 and the visitors ended up scoring 153-9.
Jacob Duffy picked up four wickets on his debut. Scott Kuggelejin picked up three wickets to dent the innings.
New Zealand innings – Afridi, Rauf effort in vain
Considering the last five matches at the Eden Park, the team batting second had won it and it was not a big score either. But Pakistani bowlers started pretty well picking up two early wickets to take the opposition to the back foot.
Shaheen Afridi picked up Martin Guptill and Devon Conway to bring New Zealand to the score of 21-2 at the 3.3 over mark.
Tim Seifert had a big role to play to take his team home. He stayed at the crease. Considering the score isn’t too big and the boundaries of Eden Park are small, there’s nothing to worry yet.
Seifert had a couple of good partnerships first with Glenn Philips and then with Mark Chapman. Seifert himself went on to score 57 runs off 43 balls.
Haris Rauf was the man who provided Pakistan with the breakthrough both the time and even he managed to dismiss Seifert. After the dismissal of Chapman, New Zealand needed 25 runs off 22 balls. And that was done without any further loss.
The chase was done and dusted in the 19th over and New Zealand won the opening match of the series.
Shaheen Afridi and Haris Rauf were the only wicket-takers for Pakistan.
Jacob Duffy was the man of the match of the night on his debut. He claimed four wickets for 33 runs in his four overs.
Man of the Match: Jacob Duffy
Result: New Zealand won by 5 wickets and lead three-match T20I series 1-nil