Pakistan thump New Zealand in Babar Azam's 100th T20 match - GulfToday

Pakistan thump New Zealand in Babar Azam's 100th T20 match


Babar Azam (C) and Haris Rauf celebrate after the dismissal of New Zealand's James Neesham during the first T20 match in Lahore late on Friday. AP

Pakistan celebrated skipper Babar Azam's 100th international match in the shortest format with a clinical 88-run win in the first Twenty20 against New Zealand in Lahore on Friday night.

Babar Azam failed with just nine runs but Fakhar Zaman and Saim Ayub scored 47 runs each and put on a 79-run partnership for the third wicket to anchor Pakistan to 182 all out in 19.5 overs.

Fast bowler Haris Rauf, one of five players who returned after being rested in Pakistan's last series against Afghanistan, took career best figures of 4-18 as New Zealand were 94 all out in 15.3 overs.

PakvsNZ-Rizwan Wicketkeeper Mohammad Rizwan attempts a stump Mark Chapman (R) during the first T20 match. AFP

Left-arm spinner Imad Wasim finished with 2-2 in his only over — taking both his wickets off successive deliveries.

Mark Chapman top-scored with 27-ball 34 inclusive of four boundaries and a six while skipper Tom Latham made 24-ball 20.

Rauf's previous best T20 figures of 4-22 had also come against New Zealand in Sharjah in 2021.

Babar-NZ-1st-T20 Babar Azam (C front) walks off the field as New Zealand's players celebrate after his dismissal. AP

Earlier, Zaman and Ayub lifted Pakistan from a poor start after they won the toss and batted.

Pakistan lost both their openers — Mohammad Rizwan leg-before for eight and then Azam bowled — to pacer Adam Milne by the fifth over for just 30.

Ayub lifted the tempo with two boundaries each off Milne and Ben Lister before he and Zaman hit a six each off spinner Ish Sodhi in the tenth over.

SaimAyub Saim Ayub plays a shot as New Zealand's wicketkeeper captain Tom Latham watches during the first T20 match. AFP

Zaman struck four boundaries and two sixes in his 34-ball knock while Ayub's rapid 28-ball innings featured two sixes and six fours.

Ayub was run out while taking a second run before Zaman was caught at deep square-leg off Sodhi.

Faheem Ashraf hit a 16-ball 22 while Wasim scored 16 off 13 balls to help Pakistan add 47 runs in the last five overs.

Henry was the pick of the New Zealand bowlers with 3-32, as Pakistan were bowled out on the penultimate ball.

Lister had figures of 2-30 while Milne finished with 2-51.

The remaining four matches are in Lahore (April 15, 17) and Rawalpindi (April 20 and 24).

Babar Azam is the third Pakistani to play 100 or more T20 matches, behind Shoaib Malik (124) and Mohammad Hafeez (119).

Azam, Mohammad Rizwan, Fakhar Zaman, Shaheen Shah Afridi and Haris Rauf return after they were rested in the 2-1 series defeat to Afghanistan in Sharjah last month.

New Zealand are missing eight key players who are taking part in the Indian Premier League and will be skippered by Tom Latham.


Pakistan: Babar Azam (captain), Shadab Khan, Faheem Ashraf, Fakhar Zaman, Haris Rauf, Iftikhar Ahmed, Imad Wasim, Mohammad Rizwan, Saim Ayub, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Zaman Khan

New Zealand: Tom Latham (captain), Chad Bowes, Mark Chapman, Matt Henry, Ben Lister, Adam Milne, Daryl Mitchell, Jimmy Neesham, Rachin Ravindra, Ish Sodhi, Will Young

Umpires: Ahsan Raza (PAK) and Faisal Afridi (PAK)

TV umpire: Asif Yaqoob (PAK)

Match referee: Ali Naqvi (PAK)

Agence France-Presse

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