Pakistani team after observing quarantine period in New Zealand finally played their first T20 match of the series against New Zealand at Eden Park. The “Green Shirts” lost the match by 5 wickets.
Just before the first T20I match Pakistan Cricket Team lost their premier player and captain Babar Azam due to a thumb injury. Babar who is the leading run scorer for the team is out of the T20I series against the Kiwis.
Babar’s unavailability was a big blow to the team and it showed today in the match that Pakistani batting his heavily reliant on Babar to do bulk of the scoring.
Pakistan batted first and had a shaky start at the top. Muhammad Rizwan the wicket keeper opened the innings with the new youngster Abdulla Shafique who failed to open his account and lost his wicket to J Duffy.
Shadab Khan who was also the captain of Pakistan cricket team in today’s match came to the rescue of his side and score crucial 42 runs on just 32 deliveries. Imad Wasim and specially Faheem Ashraf in the lower order played little cameos to provide something to the bowlers to bowl at. Faheem scored a quick 31 runs on just 18 balls, and propelled Pakistan’s total to 153 runs.
In response New Zealand lost Martin Guptill cheaply on just 6 runs. T Seifert scored a valuable 57 runs laying down a strong foundation for the Kiwis to get to the total. Both the openers were picked up by Shaheen Shah Afridi. Towards the end Haris Rauf did manage to break the partnerships and took three wickets but it was too late and New Zealand achieved the target in 18.5 overs with 7 balls to spare.
Pakistan recovered fairly well in the first innings however, they were still 20 runs short of a competitive total. It was a good game of cricket. Pakistan cricket team certainly missed their premier batsman Babar Azam in the top order. Will Pakistan be able to come out strong in the second T20 and break New Zealand’s winning streak. We will find that out in 2nd T20 on 20th-December 2020.
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