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Pakistan beat NZ by 16 runs in first T20

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 15/01/2016
Shahid Afridi of Pakistan celebrates his wicket of Grant Elliott of New Zealand during the first T20 match © Phil Walter/Getty Images Shahid Afridi of Pakistan celebrates his wicket of Grant Elliott of New Zealand during the first T20 match

Captain Kane Williamson's stoic innings wasn't enough as Pakistan pipped New Zealand by 16 runs in a pulsating start to their three-match Twenty20 series in Auckland.

The Black Caps' opener fell in the final over for 70 as his team were dismissed on the final ball for 155 in reply to Pakistan's 171-8, struggling for runs through their middle order after Colin Munro had blasted 56 off 27 balls.

The result marked a winning return for Pakistan seamer Mohammad Aamer, playing his first international since serving a five-year ban for spot-fixing.

The left-armer bowled a wide in the opening ball of the run chase but bounced back to produce encouraging speed and swing, taking 1-31 off four overs.

His efforts with the ball were overshadowed by captain Shahid Afridi (2-26) and left-arm spinner Imad Wasim (1-18), whose slower deliveries stifled the hosts.

Williamson began slowly, scoring 25 off his opening 35 balls before a first boundary sent him on his way to a highest T20 score, off 60 deliveries.

His poor start included the run-out of in-form opening partner Martin Guptill for two in the second over.

Munro was slower than his blistering half-century against Sri Lanka at the same venue five days earlier but the left-hander was still a handful, striking six sixes.

The next five batsmen managed just four runs between them, allowing Pakistan to snare the honours heading into Sunday's game two in Hamilton.

Pakistan built their total around 61 off 47 balls from opener Mohammad Hafeez and a series of lusty knocks from their middle and lower order.

Afridi whacked 23 off eight balls while Umar Akmal (24), Shoaib Malik (20) and Imad Wasim (18) also peppered the short Eden Park boundaries in short cameos.

Spinner Mitchell Santner was comfortably the best of the home bowlers, taking 2-14 off four quality overs.

Every other Black Caps bowler was treated aggressively, including legspinner Todd Astle, who conceded 0-28 off three overs in his T20 debut.

Allrounder Corey Anderson, given one over in an indication his back injury was improving, was thrashed for 18 runs before he posted a duck with the bat.

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