16 Jan 2016

Pakistan claim first T20 against the Black Caps

7:17 am on 16 January 2016

A middle order collapse by the Black Caps batsmen has cost the hosts victory in the first Twenty20 cricket match against Pakistan in Auckland.

Pakistan batsman Shahid Afridi in action.

Pakistan batsman Shahid Afridi in action. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

What is normally a fortress for the Black Caps, Eden Park proved to be anything but last night.

Pakistan posted a first innings total of 171 for eight, and for the first half of the Black Caps innings, looked obtainable.

However, eight of New Zealand's batsmen failed to make double figures, which led to their 16 run loss.

After winning the toss, the Black Caps captain Kane Williamson sent Shahid Afridi's men into bat first.

Pakistan, who are ranked sixth in the world, got off to a quick start, making 33 runs before their first wicket was lost.

Opener Ahmed Shehzad was caught out by Grant Elliot off Adam Milne's bowling on 16 runs.

The next wicket came shortly after on the first delivery from spinner Mitchell Santner's spell.

Santner managed to beat the bat of a charging Shoaib Maqsood before the bails were whipped off by Luke Ronchi behind the stumps, which left Pakistan on 52-2 off just six overs.

The fourth wicket partnership took a little longer for the Black Caps to break, it came in the 11th over when Shoaib Malik also fell victim to Santner.

He was caught by Grant Elliott after making 20 runs in 18 balls.

The next, and arguably most important wicket, came in the 15th over when opener Mohammad Hafeez was removed for 61 off 47 balls.

The right-hander was forced to walk after debutante Todd Astle took a catch at square leg off the bowling of Adam Milne.

Milne ended with the best figures of the New Zealand bowlers, the seamer picked up four wickets 37 runs in his spell.

The 23-year-old also claimed the wickets of Umar Akmal and Sarfraz Ahmed.

By the end of the Pakistan innings, the visitors had made 171 and lost eight wickets.

In reply, the Black Caps got off to a disappointing start.

The man who had anchored many of their innings against Sri Lanka found himself on the wrong end of a run out in the second over.

Martin Guptill was removed for just two runs after a mix up between he and Kane Williamson, that the Pakistani captain Shahid Afridi took full advantage of.

However Afridi couldn't take advantage of a simple catch that came his way off the bat from Colin Munro when the Black Caps all-rounder skied a shot into the air while on just six runs.

The slip up would come back to haunt the Pakistanis, Munro went on to make 56 off 27 balls before playing the ball onto his stumps off the bowling of Wahib Riaz.

Munro's replacement, Corey Anderson, didn't last long at the crease, he was dismissed the very next over caught and bowled by Imad Wasim for naught.

Next to fall was Grant Elliott, who made just three runs off five deliveries.

He suffered the same fate as Munro, dragging the ball onto the stumps off his bat from the bowling of Shahid Afridi.

The wickets didn't stop falling for the Black Caps either, Luke Ronchi also found himself returning to the changing sheds rather briefly, he failed to score a run off the four balls he faced.

Shortly after Mitchell Santner also exited the crease on naught after just four balls.

Despite spending quarter of an hour out in the middle, Todd Astle could only manage one run before he was bowled by Umar Gul.

Matt Henry made a quickfire 10 runs off five balls before finding Afridi in the field off the bowling of Mohammad Amir on the last ball of the 19th over.

The game was officially put out of reach for the Black Caps on the first ball of the last over when Kane Williamson's valiant effort came to an end.

After making 70 runs, Williamson was caught at deep square leg.

New Zealand's final wicket came off the last delivery off the match, but by that point the game was beyond reach for the Black Caps.

The hosts finished their 20 overs with 155 all out.

Pakistan's 16 run win gave the visitors a one-nil lead in the three-match series.

The next Twenty20 is on Sunday at Seddon Park in Hamilton.