Pakistan defeated New Zealand by 5 wickets at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium on Tuesday and registered their second consecutive win in the ongoing T20 World Cup 2021 in the UAE and Oman. Pakistan for 5 down for 87 in in 14.5 overs before Shoaib Malik and Asif Ali smashed 26* and 27* runs respectively.
The match was tilted totally in favour of the Kiwis till the 15th over but the sensational batting efforts from 39-year-old Malik and Ali floored the Kane Williamson-led team. The duo partnered for 48 unbeaten runs off just 23 balls.
Earlier, Pakistan asked New Zealand to bat first after winning the match at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium. Openers Martin Guptill (17 off 20) and Daryl Mitchell (27 off 20) helped New Zealand accumulate 42 runs for the loss of one wicket in the Powerplay overs. Guptill was clean bowled by Haris Rauf in the sixth over, while Mitchell departed after Fakhar Zaman took a catch off Imad Wasim's bowling.
Jimmy Nisham (1) walked in at No. 4 to join captain Kane Williamson but his 2-ball stay was ended by Mohmaad Hafeez as Zaman grabbed another catch. Kane Willaimson looking well set when an excellent field work from Hasan Ali forced him to walk back to the pavilion after a 26-ball 25.
Devon Conway chipped in with 27 off 24 but wickets kept on falling one after the other as the Kiwis were restricted to 134/8 in 20 overs. Shaheen Afridi, who started off with a maiden over took oen wicket for 21 runs, while Rauf ended up with figures of four for 22 in his four overs spell.
Chasing the target, Kane Williamson made quick bowling changes and his bolwers kept things tight in the middle to build pressure on Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan - Pakistan's opening duo who helped Pakistan seal a 10-wicket win against arch-rivals India on Sunday. Babar succumed to the pressure and was bowled by Tim Southee to become his 100th T20I dismissal.
Fakhan Zaman tried to raise the tempo with a massive six off Ish Sodhi but was soon trapped in front of the stumps by the spinner. Hafeez (11 off 6) also departed after hitting one maximum. Pakistan's No. 5 Shoaib Malik and Imad Wasim tried building a partnership but Trent Boult struck in the 15th overs to hunt down the latter.
48 runs were needed off 31 balls when Asif Ali joined Malik. The 30-year-old right-hander got off to the mark by hitting a boundary through point. Malik also showed intent in next over, hitting a boundary off Sodhi. Southee took the responsibility of bbowling the 17th over but was treated hasrshly by Ali, who had smacked two back-to-back sixes before being hit on the helmet by the speedster.
24 runs were needed in the last three and Malik hit a boundary on the first ball of the 18th over from Mitchell Santner. A ball later, the experineced campaigner charged down the ground to smack a gigantic six over long-off. Pakisan needed 9 runs from 12 after the end of the expensive over.
Asif Ali hit another six and off Boult this time and then ran a double to hand his pumped up team a 5-wicket win with 8 balls remaining.
Another glorious evening for Pakistan
Shoaib Malik does it again for Pakistan
Dil main security honi chaye, our doors will still be open for you Black caps sincerely a nation with big hearts. ❤️#pakvsnz #moinazimgraphics #comics #pakistan #cricket #wt20 #PCB #BabarAzam #shoaibmalik #harisrauf pic.twitter.com/LmFiw51h1k— Moin Nazim (@MoiNazimGraphcs) October 26, 2021
🥳🥳 Shoaib Malik and Asif Ali have justified their selection at the right and crucial moment. #PAKvNZ— Akhtar Abbas (@akhtarabbasad) October 26, 2021
ASIF ALI AND SHOAIB MALIK SHUKRIYAAA #PAKvNZ— Usman (@Usman_F2000) October 26, 2021
Another Victory ✌#PAKvNZ— 𝙉 𝘼 𝙌 𝙑 𝙄 𝘾 𝙊 ツ (@ItzNaqvi__07) October 26, 2021
ASIF ALI FINISHES THE MATCH IN STYLE— Islamabad United (@IsbUnited) October 26, 2021
PAKISTAN HAS WON 🔥🔥🔥🔥#PAKvNZ
Congratulations Pak #PAKvNZ— Abdul Baseer (@AbdulBaseer79) October 26, 2021
REMEMBER THE NAME "ASIF ALI"#PAKvNZ— Arslan (@old__cassette) October 26, 2021
Pakistan right now!