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17th-Jan-2016

Pakistan eye series win, New Zealand seek a comeback

By Agency

Following a promising victory in the opening Twenty20 international, an upbeat Pakistan, with an aim to pocket the series, will take on New Zealand in the second of the three-match series at Seddon Park in Hamilton on Sunday.
The opening clash on Friday also saw Mohammad Amir making his return to international cricket. Amir brought an end to his five-year exile and took one wicket in Pakistan's 16-run win over New Zealand
Pakistan, after being asked to bat first to bat first, took full advantage of the chance and set a big total of 171 on the board thanks to Hafeez's 61. Amir was the only man not to bat in Pakistan's innings and Sohaib Maqsood once again failed to deliver and was dismissed for a duck. Adam Milne took four wickets for New Zealand but the Kiwis, in reply, could only manage 155.
"It is great to have this win under the belt. Finally to break the losing streak that started against England. But I still say New Zealand at home are a dangerous side and the second match is very important for us," Waqar told Associated Press after the victory.
The former Test captain and fast bowler said New Zealand were capable of bouncing back strongly and his players would have to be prepared for that. "The second match will be tougher for us," he added.
Opener Mohammad Hafeez top-scored with 61 from 47 balls in Pakistan's innings but captain Shahid Afridi was his team's match-winner, scoring 23, taking 2 for 26, taking three catches, and a run-out.
Amir started his his first spell with a wide ball but later he bowled two relatively tidy spells at a good pace and showed that he still has the ability to contain the batsman. He had two catches put down off his bowling but he still seemed to have a good rhythm.
NZ made a poor start to their chase for Pakistan's total when captain Kane Williamson ran out his opening partner Martin Guptill in the second over. Williamson atoned to some extent when he made 70, his highest score in T20Is. He put on 80-run stand for the second wicket with Colin Munro, who made 56, but the New Zealand innings collapsed after Munro's dismissal, and though Williamson lingered until the final over, the home team was never going to win.
"Pakistan played very well," Williamson said. "I think 170 was a reasonable total to chase but we see-sawed a little bit with the bat. We got off to a reasonable start and lost a lot of momentum in the middle which made life pretty difficult."
The hosts will be in a must-win situation in the second match while Pakistan, who are one of the most unpredictable sides, would like to stay grounded after the first win and seal the series.