Yet another win for Pakistan!

Pakistan won by 5 wickets against New Zealand

New Zealand 134/8

Pakistan 135/5

Pakistan’s success is largely due to its bowling lineup. Two convincing victories for a team with the tournament’s finest bowling attack. And don’t forget what they say about bowlers: they always win tournaments. The swing is provided by Shaheen Afridi. Haris Rauf keeps things moving. Hasan Ali adds a lot of energy to the table. Imad Wasim is in charge of the situation. Shadab Khan, on the other hand, brings the magic. New Zealand was up against it all and came out beaten and battered, their 134 points were never quite enough.

Pakistan has been in command of the game since winning the toss and electing to bowl. New Zealand made every effort to stymie an in-form bowling attack. The increasing strain had an effect on their leader as well. After nudging a back-of-the-length ball into the offside, Kane Williamson went for a single that he ordinarily would not have taken. But, with all run-scoring options closed to him, he took a few too many steps down the pitch and was sent packing by a direct hit from Hasan Ali. At the time, New Zealand was in the middle of a good run, having hit four fours and a six in nine balls.

Rauf got the game started with a 149 kph yorker that knocked Martin Guptill out. He was able to withstand that pitch, but he was unable to field in the second innings. T20 cricket is distinguished by its fast speed – it’s why Pakistan put money on a bowler who has only been professional for three years. Rauf, who can light up the speed gun, took three of his four wickets with slower deliveries. It was an indication of his maturation and comprehension of the situation in Sharjah.

This game had the appearance of a match thanks to a historic strength of New Zealand’s – fielding – and a more recent vintage – Ish Sodhi’s leg-spin. Pakistan needed 44 runs to win in the final five overs. And unless someone goes nuts, this is a difficult task in sluggish and low conditions. Asif Ali then cranked up his massive, strong arms and smacked the second and third balls of the 17th over the fence. But here he was, shredding Tim Southee, one of New Zealand’s best fast bowlers, to lead his team to a perfect victory.

Since 2016, Pakistan has played 13 T20Is in the UAE. They’ve now won each and every one of them. If they keep going like this, a nice, gleaming trophy will be waiting for them.