Pakistan claimed their seventh Twenty20 win in a row, and 15th in 17 games, after a thrilling two-run victory over New Zealand at the Zayed Cricket stadium in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday.
Choosing to bat first, Pakistan lost both openers in the space of five deliveries before Mohammed Hafeez and Asif Ali rebuilt the inning with a 67-run stand of 51 balls for the third wicket.
Babar Azam (7) was first to depart, caught behind by Tim Seifert off Adam Milner before Shahibzada Farhan (1) slogged one straight to Colin Munro at deep square leg for left arm spinner Ijaz Patel’s first wicket in international cricket.
Hafeez, coming in at No 4 after opening the batting against Australia, stroked a top score 36-ball 45 before being dismissed by stunning Tim Southee catch at backward point for Miner’s second scalp.
New Zealand’s fielding was outstanding with Glenn Phillips diving full length in front to hold on to a dipping catch to dismiss Asif (24) off Colin de Grandhomme to reduce Pakistan to 93-4.
Corey Anderson ran a good 25 metres from long-off to leap in front and hold on to a skier from Sarfraz off Ish Sodhi and the Kiwi all-rounder was in action again when he ran out Shoaib Malik (8) with a direct hit.