Pakistan have kicked off 2016 with a world class performance against home side New Zealand, with a thumping 16 runs win to silence all the critics. This looks like a world class Pakistan side, quite balanced in the batting and fielding departments. Their fielding might need a bit of improvement heading into the ICC World T20 in india, but despite of that some extraordinary catches were seen on display tonight.
Pakistan put up a decent first innings total against New Zealand, one that they would always consider comfortable defending, considering how classy their bowling attacks have always been. Umar Gul returned to the side. He was the most expensive among all Pakistan fast bowlers, but made up in the end with a stunning yorker of a wicket of Todd Astle.
The spotlight was on Mohammad Amir, who returned from his lengthy 5 year ban. Every single cricketing fan, whether Pakistani or not, had the name of Mohammad Amir on their tongues. Now that he was finally back, the question on everyones lips was “How would he perform?”. Well Amir didnt pan out disappointing at all. One of his catches was dropped by Afridi early on in the game, but Lala made up for it when he picked a crucial catch in the end.
Afridi was man of the match, picking up 4 catches in the field, and doing good with both bat and ball. Lala all the way.
Pakistan have kicked off their World T20 preparations in the best possible manner, defeating a World Class New Zealand side away from home. This 16 run win for the men in green would give them immense confidence, and with a 1-0 lead in the series, they would feel they now have a brilliant chance to take a series win heading into the mega event in India. New Zealand have been relentless in recent times, after a good show against Australia and then absolutely dismantling the Sri Lankan team. For Pakistan to beat New Zealand this convincingly is a massive boost for every green fan.