Pakistan hammer NZ to take 1-0 lead

By Abdul Mohi Shah
April 21, 2024
Pakistani players Mohammad Rizwan (C) and Irfan Khan Niazi congratulate each other after winning the match against New Zealand in the second T20I at the Rawalpindi Stadium on April 20, 2024. — AFP

RAWALPINDI: Top order batsman Mohammad Rizwan (47 not out) put icing on the cake on what turned out to be an emphatic bowling performance by Pakistan on their way to achieve a 7-wicket win and to go 1-0 up in the five-match T20 series against New Zealand on Saturday at the Pindi Stadium.


Following almost a complete washout in the first T20 on Thursday, the action began right in time in the second T20 with Pakistan bowlers making an early impact. Then it was left to Rizwan to complete the formality of getting 91 runs victory target in 13th over, losing three wickets in the process. Rizwan struck three fours and two sixes during his 34-ball unbeaten knock to lead Pakistan home.

Debutant Mohammad Irfan (18 not out) stayed with Rizwan during 38 runs unbroken fourth wicket stand. Saim Ayub (4), Babar Azam (14) and debutant Usman Khan (7) fell cheaply.

Earlier, Pakistan made short work of the new-look New Zealand team, bowling the tourists out for just 90 in the 19th over.

Pakistani bowlers fired from all cylinders, with Shah Shah Afridi (3-13) leading the charge. He was backed up well by Mohammad Amir who celebrated his return with 2-13, bowling some tight swing bowling. Pakistan spinners also had their day, creating some good impression to unsettle the inexperienced Kiwis team. Both Ibrar Ahmad and Shadab picked up two wickets each to unsettle the middle order.