Pakistan vs New Zealand 1st T20: Hafeez stars as Pakistan win thriller in Abu Dhabi

Mohammad Hafeez 45 Pakistan New Zealand 1st T20 Abu Dhabi cricket

Mohammad Hafeez was named Man of the Match for his knock of 45

Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo

Mohammad Hafeez smashed a 36-ball 45 and only conceded 13 runs from three overs to help Pakistan skirt past New Zealand by two runs in the first Twenty20 International in Abu Dhabi.

Electing to bat first, Pakistan lost opener Babar Azam in the third over of the match as he was caught behind off the bowling of Adam Milne for seven runs.

Sahibzada Farhan only made one run before he was caught by Colin Munro at deep square leg off the bowling of debutant Ajaz Patel.

Hafeez and Asif Ali stabilised the innings with a 67-run partnership before Hafeez was dismissed by Milne for a 36-ball 45, which included five boundaries and two sixes.

Asif went on to make 24 before he was removed by Colin de Grandhomme.

With captain Sarfraz Ahmed smashing a quickfire 34, and Imad Wasim and Faheem Ashraf scoring an unbeaten 14 and 10 not out respectively, Pakistan finished on 148/6 off their 20 overs.

Milne was the pick of the bowlers with two wickets, while Patel, De Grandhomme and Ish Sodhi chipped in with one wicket apiece.

Chasing 149 to win, New Zealand made a solid start to their innings as Munro and Glenn Phillips amassed a 50-run partnership before Phillips was clean bowled by Hasan Ali for 12.

Munro ended up making a 42-ball 58, which included six boundaries and three sixes, before he was caught by Asif at long-on off the bowling of Shadab Khan.

New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson and De Grandhomme fell shortly after, but Ross Taylor put up a fight to keep the Black Caps in contention.

Even though wickets continued to fall, Taylor edged New Zealand closer to their target.

Heading into the last over, New Zealand required 16 runs to win and managed to score 10 runs off the first five balls bowled by Shaheen Shah Afridi.

With six required off the last ball, Taylor could not get the job done as he only managed to hit a four.

Taylor concluded the game unbeaten on 42, which came off 26 balls and included three boundaries.

Hasan was the most successful bowler with three wickets, while Imad and Shadab claimed one wicket each.

Hafeez was named Man of the Match.

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