Disgraced bowler Mohammad Amir made a low-key international return following a five-year spot-fixing ban as Pakistan beat New Zealand by 16 runs in the opening Twenty20 international in Auckland.
The fast bowler, who also served three months of a six-month prison sentence, returned figures of one wicket for 31 from his four overs, following his ban for deliberately bowling no-balls during a Test against England at Lord’s in August 2010.
Amir, now 23, who was convicted along with team-mates Salman Butt and Mohammad Asif, was released from prison four years ago.
Pakistan, and likely Amir, are due to tour England in the summer, playing four Tests, five one-day internationals and a T20 international.
Shahid Afridi is Man of the match for his brilliant all round performance #NZvPAK— PCB Official (@TheRealPCB) January 15, 2016
Amir did not bat at Eden Park as the tourists made 171 for eight, but took the eighth wicket of the New Zealand innings, as Matt Henry was caught by Shahid Afridi for 10 with the hosts all out for 155.
Batting first, Pakistan got off to a strong start thanks to Mohammad Hafeez’s 61 off 47 balls, including eight fours and two sixes.
His dismissal, one of four wickets for Adam Milne, who had him caught by Todd Astle, left the tourists on 110 for four, but contributions from Shoaib Malik (20), Umar Akmal (24), Imad Wasim (18) and in particular Afridi, who made 23 from just eight balls, kept the score ticking over.
Congratulation to team Pakistan on a wonderful win... hope they continue like this through out... Pakistan Zindabad— Junaid Khan83 (@JunaidkhanREAL) January 15, 2016
Mitchell Santner was the pick of the bowlers with two wickets for 14 from his four overs.
The Black Caps put on 80 for the second wicket between Kane Williamson and Colin Munro, but Henry was their only other player to make double figures.
Williamson, who made 70, hit six boundaries and a maximum in his 60-ball knock, while Munro smashed six sixes as he raced to 56 in 27 balls.
But the latter’s departure in the 10th over, bowled by Wahab Riaz, prompted a collapse from 89 for one to 108 for six. When Williamson was the ninth man out, caught by Hafeez off Riaz, the game was up.