T20 World Cup: Asif Ali fires Pakistan to thrilling win over New Zealand

Sharjah: Haris Rauf scalped four before Asif Ali blistering cameo of 27 in 12 balls helped Pakistan defeat New Zealand by five wickets here at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium in the ICC T20 World Cup 2021 on Tuesday.

Pakistan limited New Zealand to 134 for eight and then chased down the target with 8 balls to spare. With this win, Pakistan is now leading the Super 12 Group 2 with four points.

Asif whacked one four and three sixes while Shoaib Malik smashed 26 to help Pakistan chase down 135 despite a wobble in the middle.

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Chasing 135, Pakistan got off to a slow start and Babar Azam’s wicket in the sixth over further dented the team’s hopes. Tim Southee cleaned bowled Babar to take his 100th T20I wicket.

Ish Sodhi then trapped Fakhar Zaman in front of the stumps as Pakistan got reduced to 47/2. The Babar-led side lost two quick wickets in the name of Mohammad Hafeez and Mohammad Rizwan as New Zealand gained control over the game.

Conway flew in the air to pull off an absolute stunner which ended Hafeez’s stint at the crease.

However, Asif came to rescue Pakistan as he stitched an unbeaten 48-run stand with Shoaib to take his home in the 19th over.

Put into bat first, New Zealand scored 134/8 in 20 overs as Haris Rauf starred with the ball picking up four wickets.

Daryl Mitchell, Kane Williamson and Devon Conway scored 27, 25, 27 runs as New Zealand batsmen struggled to get their feet in.

The Kiwis got off to a decent start but Pakistan kept taking wickets at regular intervals which didn’t allow New Zealand to post a respectable total.

Brief Scores: New Zealand 134/8 (Daryl Mitchell 27, Conway 27; Haris Rauf 4-22) vs Pakistan 135/5 (Mohammad Rizwan 33, Asif Ali 27; Ish Sodhi 2-28)

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