NZ vs PAK, 1st T20I Match Report: New Zealand Beat Pakistan By 46 Runs; Lead Five-Match Series 1-0

New Zealand outclassed Pakistan by 46 runs in the first T20I thanks to Tim Southee and Daryl Mitchell's contributions at Eden Park in Auckland


New Zealand celebrate a wicket during their 1st T20I against Pakistan at Auckland

Daryl Mitchell and Kane Williamson made brisk half-centuries to propel New Zealand to a 46-run win over Pakistan Saturday in the first of five T20 Internationals. Mitchell blasted 61 from 27 balls, following Williamson who scored 57 from 42 as New Zealand made 226 for eight after being sent in, the highest-ever total against Pakistan in a T20 international. (ScorecardMore Cricket News)

Pakistan had a chance as long as Babar Azam was at the crease. But, when he was out for 57 in the 16th over, the size of the run chase became insurmountable. The tourists finally were all out for 180 in 18 overs.


Tim Southee took four for 25 for New Zealand to become the first bowler from any nation to claim 150 wickets in T20 Internationals.

Williamson's 18th half-century in T20s came in difficult circumstances. Batting first drop, he came to the crease on only the third ball of the New Zealand innings after Devon Conway was out for a first-ball duck.

He also lacked recent time in the middle after missing New Zealand's recent T20 series against Bangladesh as he continues a controlled return from the serious knee injury he suffered while playing in the Indian Premier League in April.

Williamson also was in the shadow early of Finn Allen who smashed 35 from 15 balls at the top of the order, including 24 runs — 6, 4, 4, 4, 6 — from the second over bowled by Pakistan captain Shaheen Shah Afridi.


He batted watchfully at first but when Allen was out, Williamson steadily gained momentum to reach his half-century from 40 balls with eight boundaries. He was twice dropped, on nine by Babar from the bowling of Abbas Afridi and on 39 by Iftikhar Ahmed off Usama Mir.

Just as Williamson took up where Allen left off, Mitchell stepped up the pace of the New Zealand innings after Williamson and reached his half-century from 22 balls. His score of 61 included four powerful sixes down the ground.

“I thought the partnerships we built throughout the middle with Kane and (Glenn Phillips) as well allowed us to build a platform to put the bowlers under some pressure which you always try to do at Eden Park,” Mitchell said. “Also, the way the boys bowled at the end there was superb.

New Zealand piled on runs through the middle of its innings — 80 between the eighth and 14th overs — but didn't finish quite as strongly as it would have hoped. Glenn Phillips made 19 runs from 11 balls and Mark Chapman 26 from 11 at the death. But, New Zealand may have been a batter short in the absence of Mitch Santner who was ruled out of the match at the last moment after testing positive positive for the coronavirus. Abbas Afridi finished with three for 34 on debut.

Saim Ayub gave Pakistan an explosive start to its innings when he hit 27 from eight balls with three sixes and two fours. But, he was immensely unlucky to be run out backing up too far. Mohammad Rizwan had to dodge a delivery from Adam Milne who picked up the ball on his follow-through and threw out Ayub at the non-striker's end.


New Zealand would have been concerned when Pakistan was 62 for one after five overs with Mohammad Rizwan and Babar at the crease. Rizwan fell before the end of the power play, top-edging a ball from Tim Southee which hung for a long time in the night sky before being caught by Conway, the New Zealand wicketkeeper.

Ish Sodhi pulled off a brilliant one-handed catch off his bowling to dismiss Fakhar Zaman, but Pakistan was 109 for three after 10 overs, still in the race.

Babar and Iftikhar added 40 for the fourth wicket but the Pakistan run rate began to dip below New Zealand's.


As Pakistan's set batsman, Babar was crucial, but New Zealand did well to limit him by bowling shorter to restrict his access to the shorter straight boundaries at Eden Park.

Pakistan was 159 for four at the end of the 15th over, needing 68 runs from 30 balls. Its task became much harder when Azam Kham and Shaheen Afridi fell to the first and third balls of the 16th over, bowled by Adam Milne. Babar fell at the start of the 17th over and with him went Pakistan's last hopes.