Auckland: A four-wicket haul from debutant Jacob Duffy (4/33) and handy knocks from Tim Seifert (57) and Mark Chapman (34) helped New Zealand beat Pakistan by 5 wickets to take a 1-0 lead in the first match of the T20I series at Eden Park here on Friday.
A late blitz from Chapman and some big hits from Mitchell Santner and Jimmy Neesham helped the Kiwis steal 43 runs in the last 3.5 overs despite a six-run over, that included the wicket of Chapman, from Haris Rauf. Santner finished the game off with a six, but the run-chase had become a formality by then, mostly due to excellent knocks played by Seifert and Chapman earlier in the innings.
New Zealand lost Martin Guptill early on with Shadab Khan taking a stunner, running back from mid-off. Rauf added to the hosts’ troubles when he held onto a good catch off his won bowling to send Devon Conway on his way. However, Glenn Phillips and Seifert gave the innings impetus after the Powerplay overs, taking spinners Shadab and birthday boy Imad Wasim for a six apiece in their respective overs.
Rauf returned to the attack to have Phillips caught at deep mid-wicket off his first ball of the new spell. But Seifert and new man Chapman stole 36 runs off the next four overs to pull New Zealand back on track.
At 109/3 in 14 overs, the hosts appeared to be well on course for an easy win, but Shaheen Shah Afridi returned to the mix to send back Seifert soon after he completed his half-century. Chapman, who had progressed at just over a run a ball, slammed Wahab Riaz for a six and two fours in the next over and the required run-rate promptly came down. Chapman’s wicket didn’t deter the lower middle-order as Neesham and Santner sealed the game for the hosts. (UNI)