New Zealand beat Pakistan by 9 wickets on a spin-friendly track
New Zealand opener Finn Allen blasted off a poor bowling attack by Pakistan as Kiwis cruised to a nine-wicket victory in a low scoring T20 contest on a spin-friendly track at Christchurch on Tuesday (October 11) in the tri-series.
Allen, brought in place of Martin Guptill, blasted six sixes to score 62 off 42 balls as New Zealand chased Pakistan’s 130/7 in 16.1 overs. His opening partner Devon Conway followed his match-winning 70 against Bangladesh in the previous match with an unbeaten 49.
Earlier, New Zealand’s spin quartet, led by offspinner Michael Bracewell, kept the visitors in check, disallowing the possibility of boundaries for long periods of time.
Mitchell Santner conceded 11 runs from his opening over then joined with Michael Bracewell to uproot Pakistan’s top order.
Bracewell who took 2-14 in New Zealand’s eight-wicket win over Bangladesh on Sunday, bettered that with 2-11. He claimed the first Pakistan wicket to fall, dismissing Mohammad Rizwan for 16.
With the ball turning a little and holding in the surface of a worn pitch, it was always dangerous to try and hit lofted straight shots.
“I would not say there was a huge amount of turn,” Bracewell said. “The ball was just holding in the wicket and bouncing a bit which created the illusion of turn. It was a slightly different role today. Bowling in the power-play makes it a bit nerve-wracking against world-class batsmen.”
Mohammad Rizwan gave Pakistan a great start, slamming three fours in the first two overs. When captain Kane Williamson introduced Santner in the second over, he was slammed for 11 runs, and Babar Azam too hoisted a four in the next over to take Pakistan to 24/0 in three overs.
But after that, Santner, Bracewell, Blair Tickner and Ish Sodhi strung together to contain the Pakistanis even as they struck at regular intervals. Pakistan’s batting line up struggled and even got the dubious record of not hitting a single six in the session.
“Yes, a great performance by the lads. They are a quality side. We used the conditions better. We used the longer side of the ground and used the wind accordingly. Obviously, tougher conditions to bat on. Devon and Allen batted ultra-aggressive and broke the chase in our favour. We needed such a performance. Allen, to play the way he did, is amazing. The wicket was 10 days old. We have been playing here since the start of this tri-series. On an used surface, to bat the way he did, was excellent to see,” New Zealand captain Kane Williamson said after the match.
Pakistan’s captain Babar Azam too conceded that the pitch was slower than expected and they made mistakes.
“I think the pitch was a bit slower. We will do much better in the next match. We will have to discuss a lot of things as we have a day off now. We have made a lot of mistakes. Definitely, a bad day. We weren’t at our best. Credits to Black Caps for the way they played,” Azam said.
(With inputs from agencies)