Pakistan have defeated New Zealand by 48 runs in the second Twenty20 against New Zealand at Auckland’s Eden Park on Thursday.
The Kiwis never quite settled on the pitch as they lost six of their wickets in quick succession after being set a daunting target of 202 runs.
Faheem Ashraf yielded three wickets, while Shadab Khan and Mohammad Amir scored two wickets each Hasan Ali and Rumman Raees each have one wicket to their names.
The hosts were rattled from the get-go as opener Colin Munro departed for the pavilion with just one run to his name very early in the inning. His successor, captain Kane Williamson left the pitch soon after without scoring any runs.
Bruce was run out by Harris Sohail at 11 runs and Martin Guptill who was holding fort also departed for 26 runs when he was caught by Umar Amin during Shadab’s over.
Colin de Grandhomme scored 10 runs before falling victim to Shadab while Glenn Phillips only managed 5 runs.
Hasan Ali bowled Ben Wheeler out at 30 by after he steadied his side with the help of Mitchell Santner, who became the top scorer for his team with 37 runs to his name.
Santer’s wicket was taken by Amir, while his successors Ish Sodhi and Seth Rance were sent back to the pavilion by Faheem after scoring 15 and one runs each.
The Green Shirts are down 1-0 and looking to reverse a form slump to keep the three-match series alive.
Earlier, Pakistan won the toss and elected to bat, scoring 201 runs for the loss of 4 wickets.
Babar Azam and Fakhar Zaman jointly top-scored with 50 apiece as Pakistan made 201 for four after winning the toss and electing to bat at Eden Park.
Skipper Sarfraz Ahmed also contributed 41 and Ahmed Shehzad made 44 as Pakistan chase their first tour win over the Black Caps.
Openers Fakhar and Ahmed laid the platform with a partnership of 94.
Pakistan’s previous best opening partnership during the six limited-over matches played on tour so far was just 14.
The pair made the most of Eden Park’s short boundaries to comfortably dispatch anything short or wide for four.
They punished pacemen Ben Wheeler and Seth Rance, who both conceded 13 runs in an over, prompting New Zealand to introduce spinners Ish Sodhi and Mitchell Santner.
Fakhar responded by belting three sixes off Santner’s first over, bringing up his maiden T20 half century soon after off 26 balls.
Rance finally broke through in the 9th over, deceiving Ahmed with a slower ball that carried straight to Colin de Grandhomme on the boundary.
De Grandhomme pressed home the advantage in the next over when he coaxed an edge to dismiss Fakhar and threaten to steal Pakistan’s momentum.
But Sarfraz and Babar kept the scoreboard ticking over, taking Pakistan to 137 for two with five overs remaining.
Sarfraz in particular displayed a confidence that had so far eluded him on tour and also had a dash of luck when Mitchell Santner dropped him on 35.
He proceeded to send a Wheeler delivery into the stands but was out on 41 trying for a repeat with the next ball.
Babar brought up his 50 and took the team past 200 with a four off the final ball of the innings. Ben Wheeler was New Zealand’s best bowler with two for 36.
“It looks a good batting pitch so hopefully we can come up with a good score then defend it,” captain Sarfraz Ahmed said after winning the toss.
“I’ve just told the boys ‘play your natural game, don’t worry about the result, we have nothing to lose’.”
Pakistan recalled opening batsman Ahmed Shehzad in a bid to make a strong start as they chase their first win on tour against the Black Caps.