A four-wicket haul by pacer Jacob Duffy followed by a half-century from wicketkeeper-batsman Tim Seifert helped New Zealand beat Pakistan by five wickets in the first T20I at Eden Park on Friday.
The Black Caps first restricted Pakistan to 153/9 and then chased down the target with seven balls to spare to take a 1-0 lead in the three-match series.
Earlier, opting to bat, the Shadab Khan-led side had a horrible start as they lost five wickets for 39 within the first nine overs. However, Shadab’s 42 off 32 and a 31-run inning by Faheem Ashraf helped Pakistan breach the 150-run mark.
Imad Wasim (19), wicketkeeper Mohammad Rizwan (17), and Khushdil Shah (16) made other notable contributions.
For the hosts, Duffy returned with figures of 4/33 in his four overs while Scott Kuggeleijn picked three wickets conceding 27 runs.
The hosts also did not have a great start to their chase as they lost Martin Guptill (6) and Devon Conway (5) within the first four overs. However, Seifert, who opened the innings, kept scoring runs and stitched a 44-run partnership with Glenn Phillips (23) before the latter got out. Mark Chapman (34) then contributed with 45 runs with Seifert.
Seifert, after reaching his 50-run mark, got out with New Zealand still needing 44 runs in 32 balls.
James Neesham (15*) and captain Mitchell Santner (12*) then took the team home in the penultimate over of the match.
The two teams will now face each other in the second match at the Seddon Park, Hamilton on Sunday.
Brief scores: Pakistan 153/9 (Shadab Khan 42; Jacob Duffy 4/33) lose to New Zealand 156/5 (Tim Seifert 57; Haris Rauf 3/29)