Pakistan win Amir’s comeback match

SANDIPAN GHOSH / 15 January 2016
Amir is the best bowler: Afridi

On Friday, Pakistan beat New Zealand by 16 runs in the first T20I of the 3 T20I-match series at Auckland. It was the comeback match for tainted bowler Mohammad Amir after a five-year-long wait.

In-form New Zealand sent Pakistan to bat first after winning the toss. Todd Astle made his T20I debut for the New Zealand team in this match.

Pakistan managed 171 runs with the loss of 8 wickets in the 20 overs. Mohammad Hafeez made a brilliant knock of 61 runs in the 47 balls. Shahid Afridi, Umar Akmal and Imad Wasim played some quick-fire knocks at the end. Afridi made 23 runs off just 8 balls while Akmal scored 24 off 14 balls and Wasim hit 18 runs on 9 balls.

Adam Milne grabbed 4 wickets for New Zealand. Debutant Todd Astle failed to pick any wicket.

Chasing 172 runs, New Zealand started in very good style. After Martin Guptill’s early departure, skipper Kane Williamson and Colin Munro made a great 80 runs partnership for the second wicket. Munro hit his third T20I fifty in just 25 balls. He scored 56 runs in 27 balls before getting out. After failing of his wicket, New Zealand batting line-up crumbled. Except Williamson, no other Kiwi batsmen put any kind fight against the Pakistan bowlers. Williamson made a fighting 70 runs but failed to win the match for his side. New Zealand were bowled out for just 155 runs.

Wahab Riaz grabbed 3 wickets while Afridi and Umar Gul picked up 2 wickets each. The comeback man Mohammad Amir picked up his only wicket of Matt Henry in his last ball. Amir was unlucky as he could get two more wickets but Afridi and Shoaib Maqsood denied those after missing the catches respectively.

Shahid Afridi was selected the man of the match for his outstanding all-round performances. The second T20I will be held on 17th January at Hamilton.

Brief Scores:

Pakistan- 171/8 in 20 overs (M. Hafeez 61, U. Akmal 24, A .Milne 4/37)

New Zealand- 155/10 in 20 overs (K. Williamson 70, M. Guptill 56, W. Riaz 3/34)

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