Haris Rauf stars as spirited Pakistan down New Zealand
Haris Rauf produced an outstanding spell of fast-bowling as Pakistan beat New Zealand by five wickets in the International Cricket Council (ICC) T20 World Cup 2021 Group 2 encounter in Sharjah on Tuesday.
After being asked to bat first, the Black Caps were off to a decent start as they reached 36 without loss.
However, from there on, it was a show of control and effectiveness from the Green Caps’ bowlers who not only kept things tight but also claimed timely wickets as well.
Black Caps managed to post just 134 for the loss of eight wickets in their allotted 20 overs. Opener Daryl Mitchell and left-hander Devon Conway finished the innings with the joint top-score of 27 off 20 and 24 balls.
For Pakistan, pacer Rauf was the star of the show as he registered his career-best figures of 4-22 in his quota of four overs.
He was well-supported by star fast-bowler Shaheen Shah Afridi and Imad Wasim, who finished with figures of 1-22 and 1-24 respectively.
While chasing a 135-run target to secure their second win, the Men-in-Green were off to a difficult start as well as captain Babar Azam went back to the pavilion after scoring just nine.
Fakhar Zaman and Mohammad Hafeez could not put much contribution to the total as they went back to the pavilion after scoring 11 each off 17 and six deliveries.
Leg-spinner Ish Sodhi removed in-form wicketkeeper-batter Mohammad Rizwan in the 12th over to put the Green Caps under severe pressure. The trouble intensified once Trent Boult removed Imad Wasim in the 15th over at the score of 87.
However, a boundary in the 16th over on the bowling of Ish Sodhi by Shoaib Malik and then two maximums on consecutive deliveries by Asif Ali in the 17th over on the bowling of Tim Southee put the Men-in-Green on top.
The game turned completely in Pakistan’s favour when Malik smashed left-arm spinner, Mitchell Santner, for a six and a four in the 18th over.
The deal was completed in the 19th over when Asif smashed Trent Boult for a maximum.
Rizwan finished the innings with the top score of 33 off 34 balls with the help of five fours. Asif remained not out on 27 off 12 balls with the help of one four and three sixes whereas Malik remained unbeaten on 26 off 20 balls with the help of two fours and one six.
For the Kiwis, leg-spinner Sodhi finished the innings as the most successful bowler by claiming two wickets.
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