Afridi, Amir do the damage as Pakistan destroy depleted New Zealand in second T20

afridi, amir do the damage as pakistan destroy depleted new zealand in second t20

Pakistan’s Mohammad Amir (L) celebrates with teammate Shaheen Shah Afridi (C) after taking the wicket of New Zealand’s Tim Robinson during the second Twenty20 international. – AFP

Left-armers Shaheen Shah Afridi and Mohammad Amir shared five wickets to rock New Zealand for a paltry 90 before Mohammad Rizwan anchored the chase to help Pakistan win the second Twenty20 clash Saturday in Rawalpindi.

Shaheen led the attack with 3-13 while Amir, returning to international cricket after nearly four years, finished with 2-13 as the visitors were bowled out in 18.1 overs after being sent in to bat.

Rizwan finished with 45 not out off 34 balls with a six and four boundaries to ensure Pakistan chased down a modest target in 12.1 overs for a seven wicket win and take a 1-0 lead in the five-match series.

The first match, also in Rawalpindi, was washed out after just two deliveries on Thursday.

New Zealand did fight back with wickets of Saim Ayub (four), Babar Azam (14) and debutant Usman Khan (seven) but Muhammad Irfan Khan (run-a-ball 18) partnered Rizwan in an unfinished 36-run stand to seal victory.

Ayub hit a boundary off the first ball of the innings before giving a return catch to pacer Ben Lister off the next while Azam was stumped off rival skipper Michael Bracewell and Usman bowled by spinner Ish Sodhi.

Azam credited his bowling for the kickstart.

“It’s crucial to set the tone in first six overs at this ground,” said Azam of the Pindi stadium which saw a packed 16,000 week-end crowd.”The way Naseem, Shaheen and Amir bowled was outstanding and helped us get early wickets.”

Bracewell lamented batting failure.

“We didn’t score quite enough runs,” said Bracewell. “We were little bit slow to adapt to the surface and put ourselves under pressure in the end. We got a game tomorrow and we need to learn quickly.”

Earlier Amir — returning to international cricket after nearly four years — jolted New Zealand in the opening overs.

Amir retired abruptly in 2020 after he was dropped from the team, the second break in his career after he was banned for five years in a spot-fixing scandal in 2010.

Spinners Abrar Ahmed (2-15) and Shadab Khan (2-15) doubled the pressure as New Zealand were dismissed for their second lowest total against Pakistan in the game’s shortest format.

Mark Chapman (19), Cole McConchie (15), Dean Foxcroft (13) and Tim Seifert (13) were the only batsmen to reach double figures.

Chapman hit three boundaries in his 16-ball knock.

New Zealand’s lowest T20I total against Pakistan is 80, made at Christchurch in 2010.

Fast bowler Naseem Shah, also playing his first match since injuring his shoulder in September last year, took 1-27 in four overs.

Both teams are preparing for the Twenty20 World Cup to be held in June in the United States and the West Indies.

New Zealand are missing a host of their top players due to playing in the ongoing Indian Premier League, unavailability and injuries.

The remaining matches are in Rawalpindi on Sunday followed by the last two in Lahore on April 25 and 27.

90 all out (18.1)

92-3 (12.1)

Pakistan win by 7 wickets

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