SHARJAH: Pakistan defeated New Zealand by five wickets in their second match of Group-II in a close encounter here on Tuesday.
Pakistan, winning the toss, elected to bowl first. The pace attack did not give New Zealand many chances to score runs. Haris Rauf was the pick of the bowlers with 4-22. Shaheen Shah Afridi, Imad Wasim, and Mohammad Hafeez took one wicket each. The Black Caps were restricted to 134-8 in the first innings. Devon Conway and Daryl Mitchell were the top scorers for New Zealand with 27 runs each.
In reply, Pakistan had a slow start as skipper Babar Azam departed early after scoring just nine runs. Pakistan kept losing wickets at regular intervals and were in a difficult situation as they were reduced to 87-5 in the 15th over.
However, Shoaib Malik and Asif Ali stood firm at the crease and won the match for Pakistan. Shoaib Malik and Asif Ali remained not out and scored 26 and 27 runs, respectively. Ish Sodhi was the standout bowler for New Zeland with 2-28 in his quota of four overs.
Hairs Rauf was the winner of the Man-of-the-Match award. With this win, Pakistan sit atop the group standings. Pakistan will play their next match against Afghanistan on October 29.