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NZ Vs PAK, 1st T20I: New Zealand All-Rounder Mitchell Santner Contracts COVID-19; Misses Action In Auckland

New Zealand cricket team all-rounder Mitchell Santner had to sit out of the 1st T20 against Pakistan as the former contracted COVID-19.

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Mitchell Santner picked up three wickets against West Indies in second T20.
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New Zealand cricket team all-rounder Mitchell Santner tested positive for COVID-19 and in turn missed out on playing the 1st T20I between hosts and Pakistan at Eden Park in Auckland. (Scorecard | Cricket News)

The opening match of the five-match series saw the BlackCaps take the honours with a 46-run victory over the Men In Green.

Prior to the start of the match, New Zealand Cricket (NZC) made the announcement on X (formerly Twitter) stating, "Mitch Santner won’t travel to Eden Park this evening for the opening KFC T20I against Pakistan after testing positive for COVID earlier today. He will continue to be monitored over the coming days and will travel solo home to Hamilton."

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Santner, a vital T20 member of the Kiwis squad, has an impressive record in the 20-over format with 610 runs in 64 innings at an average of 16.94, to go with one fifty. He has also scalped 105 wickets in 93 matches.

Kiwis though did not miss Santner's prescence as they easily ran through Pakistan batting order to win by 46 runs. Put into bat, the hosts registered their highest-ever score against Pakistan (226/8) thanks to a well-made 61 from Daryl Mitchell.

In reply, the visitors started strongly with Saim Ayub spanking few maximums however Tim Southee (4/25) stood tall as Shaheen Shah Afridi's maiden game as T20I skipper ended in a defeat.

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