Tim Southee, standing in as captain for Kane Williamson, won the toss and elected to bowl first. His decision was well-founded as Pakistan were bundled out for just 105 before the Kiwis made short work of the chase winning with 25 balls to spare.
We look at the good and the bad as Pakistan’s dismal tour continued.
COLIN MUNRO’S PURPLE PATCH SHOWS NO SIGNS OF STOPPING
Munro has been in destructive form since the end of the last year in the Twenty20 format as he became the first man in history to register three tons.
He continued in the same vein on Monday albeit with a relatively small target to chase as his unbeaten 49 made short work of Pakistan’s total. The southpaw was unlucky to remain stranded just one short of what would have been his fourth consecutive T20I fifty.
It was not all plain sailing for the hosts in the chase as they lost Martin Guptill and Glenn Phillips fairly cheaply to be reduced to 14-2 in the first four overs. From then on however, Munro did not give the visitors a sniff with his 43-ball innings which included three boundaries and two sixes.
After having won a crucial toss on a lively surface offering some bounce, the stand-in skipper led by example with the new-ball in hand.
Opening the bowling for the hosts, Southee’s extra bounce outfoxed Fakhar Zaman who could only offer a simple catch to cover while attempting to drive a fuller delivery on the on-side.
Southee then accounted for Mohammad Nawaz who tried to play across the line but a hint of in-swing meant that the batsman ended up chipping the ball to mid-on.
The skipper then capped off a fine performance with the dismissal of tail-ended Faheem Ashraf as he finished with excellent figures of 3-13 in his four overs.
PAKISTAN’S TOP-ORDER PAYS THE PRICE FOR LOOSE SHOTS
While the pitch at Wellington was not an easy one to bat on, the manner of dismissals of Pakistan’s top four in the batting order reflects poorly on the visitors.
Zaman and Nawaz had both fallen to Southee while trying to play across the line. On a surface with some extra bounce and movement, playing across the line was always going to be a risky maneuver and the batsmen ultimately paid the price.
Umar Amin failed to account for the extra bounce like Zaman had done and he could only get a leading edge to a Seth Rance delivery after which Anaru Kitchen completed a stunning catch at point.
Haris Sohail was the next to fall after his loose drive against Kitchen’s flighted delivery went straight into the hands of Tom Bruce at extra-cover to leave Pakistan reeling at 22-4. The damage had been done and there was no recovering for the visitors after this point.
The Pakistan skipper has not had the best of tours personally too with one half-century being his only saving grace with the bat so far.
With the top-order collapsing on Monday, the responsibility was on the captain to stabilize the Pakistan innings and to give some support to Babar Azam who was waging a lone battle at the other end.
However, Sarfraz’s comical dismissal put to an end all hopes of the visitors salvaging a decent total. The skipper attempted to sweep a Mitchell Santner flighted delivery but he too was undone by the extra bounce as he missed. Sarfraz’s front-foot and back-foot slid in the opposite direction as he attempted to sweep, leaving him flat on the ground. With the batman well out of crease, Phillips made on mistake in whipping the bails off swiftly to reduce Pakistan to 38-6 and compound their misery.
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