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Tim Southee scripts history as New Zealand crush Pakistan in Auckland

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Last updated on 12 Jan 2024 | 12:02 PM
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Tim Southee scripts history as New Zealand crush Pakistan in Auckland

In pursuit of 227, Pakistan were bundled out for just 180 in just 18 overs in the first T20I

Tim Southee became the first player to 150 wickets in T20 Internationals (T20I), leading New Zealand's "nasty fasties" to a 46-run win over Pakistan in their series opener in Auckland.

Veteran seam bowler Southee claimed four wickets to pass the milestone and help dismiss the tourists for 180 in the 18th over in response to New Zealand's imposing 226 for 8, handing them first blood in the five-match series.

Southee's figures of 4 for 25 were the best of a run-dominated encounter at Eden Park and took him to 151 wickets in T20 internationals, 11 more than Bangladesh spinner Shakib Al Hasan.

He finished the job as Pakistan's run chase capitulated after Babar Azam fell in the 17th over, with the former captain having accelerated to 57 off 35 balls to keep his side in contention.

There were starts for openers Saim Ayub (27) and Mohammad Rizwan (25) but Babar struggled to find support from his teammates before being caught at cover by captain Kane Williamson off Ben Sears' bowling.

Williamson said Southee's value across a 16-year career couldn't be understated. "Tim has been around for a long time and this is a credit to his consistent performances over a long period," he said.

"But he also adds so much as a leader in our environment - a calm head and it's pretty good to have him out there with some young nasty fasties."

New Zealand's boundary-laden innings was the highest Pakistan had conceded in a T20, surpassing the 221 for 3 England scored in Karachi in 2022. Daryl Mitchell blasted 61 off 27 balls and Williamson was dropped twice as he scored 57 off 42.

New Zealand built on an explosive start from opener Finn Allen (34), who struck 24 runs off the third over, bowled by Pakistan captain Shaheen Afridi.

Pakistan's new-look attack struggled to protect the ground's notoriously short boundaries, conceding 21 fours and 11 sixes.

Seamer Abbas Afridi impressed in his first international appearance in any format with 3-34 off four overs, although fellow-debutant Usama Mir had his leg spin attacked by Mitchell in particular and finished with 0 for 51.

Shaheen, who took 3 for 46, led Pakistan for the first time after Babar forfeited the captaincy in the wake of their failure to make last year's 50-over Cricket World Cup semi-finals. Shaheen said improvements will be necessary ahead of the second match in Hamilton on Sunday (January14).

"We only have a short time. As a bowling unit, we have to improve and use our variations at the right times," he said.

"Kane Williamson and Mitchell played very well but there were misfields in the middle overs. We have to grab those catches and as a fielding unit we need to do better."

New Zealand spin-bowling allrounder Mitchell Santner wasn't selected after testing positive for Covid-19 earlier in the day.

Brief scores:

New Zealand 226 for 8 in 20 overs (Daryl Mitchell 61, Kane Williamson 57; Abbas Afridi 3 for 34) beat Pakistan 180 in 18 overs (Babar Azam 57, Saim Ayub 27; Tim Southee 4 for 25) by 46 runs.

Player of the match: Daryl Mitchell 

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