Welcome to Wisden’s live match centre for the T20 World Cup 2021 game between Pakistan and New Zealand on October 26 – follow this space for live updates, commentary, as well as score for Pak vs NZ fixture, along with TV telecast and live streaming details.
Pakistan win by five wickets
Pakistan v New Zealand, T20 World Cup 2021: Live Scorecard
Pakistan winning this one makes the group really interesting, especially given how Afghanistan thumped Scotland last night. If Afghanistan beat one of New Zealand or Pakistan (and assuming they go past Namibia), they could potentially push a team or two out with that net run rate. India’s game against New Zealand becomes hugely important for both sides. Over to England against Bangladesh tomorrow in Abu Dhabi, the first time those teams will be playing each other in T20Is!
Pakistan win by five wickets!
Brilliant stuff from Pakistan in the last few overs. The Shoaib Malik – Asif Ali pairing has worked perfectly for them. One took on pace, the other spin and they have turned it around from a precarious position to win it for Pakistan. They have now won both their matches in the group and they haven’t played Scotland and Namibia yet, the weakest teams in the group. A semi-final spot all but guaranteed you’d think.
Update: Now, exactly that happens. New Zealand attack with spin, and Malik is taking Santner on: 4, 2 and 6. This game has turned away from New Zealand completely.
Over 17: Pak 111-5 – Surely, Asif Ali will do it?
Asif has really turned up all guns blazing. He does not like spin, but New Zealand only have one over of it (Santner) and Malik can take that on. Asif can, meanwhile, be brutal on pace as he showed in that Southee over. Asif’s cameo has been crucial in bringing that required rate now.
Over 14.5: Pak 87-5 – Imad is gone and New Zealand are strangling Pakistan
The last 17 balls have gone for just 17 runs. New Zealand have been clever in mixing up their bowlers to keep Pakistan’s fairly new batters from attacking. The return of Boult brings a wicket too and half the side are back in the hut for Pakistan. From the euphoria of the India win, this is some slide by Pakistan. They aren’t still out of it, though. I think we will see a special knock from Asif Ali.
Over 11.4: Pak 69-4 – Rizwan is gone and now New Zealand are on top
Well, this game is taking quite a turn here. Rizwan is gone and that target seems quite a way away now for Pakistan. A lot riding on Shoaib Malik to turn it on and he is joined by Imad Wasim, promoted above Asif Ali. Good move that. They get the left-right pairing and also save Asif Ali for later in the innings.
Ish Sodhi has been quite good in the UAE so far – shone in the warm-up games and here, gets rid of Fakhar and RIzwan at crucial junctures in the game.
Devon Conway has pulled off one of the catches of the tournament!
Just when I was thinking Hafeez is really helping Rizwan bat in his own way, he is gone, dismissed by a stunning boundary catch by Devon Conway. This is as good as Aiden Markram’s catch in the opening game against Australia, if not better. This should help New Zealand massively. Rizwan hasn’t quite gotten going yet and suddenly Pakistan are three down with Malik, whose form has been a subject of lots of discussion, in the middle.
Over 9: Pak 47-2 – Fakhar’s gone and now we are into the 80-year old
Oh, if you are wondering who the 80-year old is, it’s not one person but two people “running around in one” according to Simon Doull, who recently took a dig at Shoaib Malik (39 years old) and Mohammad Hafeez (41 years old). It’s Hafeez now. He hasn’t had a great 2021, but a year before that topped the run charts in T20Is.
Over 7: Pak 37-1 – Fakhar’s role could be crucial
Rizwan is so used to batting with Babar that another batter in the middle could just be the opening New Zealand need to put pressure on him. So far, by restricting Fakhar to two off seven balls, New Zealand have done well. Fakhar is more than just the only left-hander in Pakistan’s top six. He is also expected to be the aggressor in the middle overs and should be doing just that to ease the load on Rizwan and take Blackcaps’ focuss off him.
Update: After 180 runs together at the T20 World Cup, the Babar – Rizwan pair is separated. Babar is cleaned up for nine by a Southee slower ball.
Over 5: Pak 28-0 – Top class Rizwan
Rizwan has hardly put a foot wrong since the start of that India game. Well, actually since the start of 2020. Here, he’s recognised Boult is the major threat and immediately put pressure on him with boundaries off the first ball in both his overs. Top-class stuff. On paper, he is on 17 off 20 and that’s not a great start in T20 terms, but he has completely kept New Zealand at bay.
Over 3: Pak 14-0 – New Zealand’s tactics
I am not too convinced about how New Zealand have gone about their tactics today. With Babar and Rizwan potentially the game-changers, holding back Boult for the third over, especially given how good he has been for Mumbai Indians in making an impact in the very first over, does not quite make sense, especially when it’s Santner, who is good but not as big a wicket-taking threat as Southee-Boult, they chose instead.
Over to New Zealand
This should be some battle. Two new ball specialists against the best opening pair in T20I cricket (fresh off a 152-run unbeaten stand) currently.
End of innings: NZ 134-8 – Career-best for Rauf
Another excellent over and Rauf has 4-22, his best figures in this format and it is not just the numbers, they only tell half the story. It has been exhilirating watching this Pakistan bowling unit go about their work. This will take some beating. New Zealand have a quality attack and Pakistan’s batting isn’t the strongest after the opening duo, but outbowling this performance will be difficult.
Over 19: NZ 125-7 – What an over from Shaheen!
If you aren’t watching this game, it’s not too late to switch on now. It is THAT good from Pakistan. After Haris Rauf bowls a brilliant over, Shaheen turns up and does batter. It takes a ridiculous scoop off a 90 mph yorker from Tim Seifert to get a boundary in that over. Shaheen promptly responds with a slower ball to dismiss Seifert. Excellent bowling this. Just goes on to show the kind of variety Pakistan have in their attack. I predicted an India – Pakistan final before the tournament, and at least one of them looking really good to go all the way. Now Rauf for the final over. Relentless!
Over 17.3: NZ 116-6 – Haris Rauf!
Brilliant stuff from Harsi Rauf. He has turned up in some form at the tournament and is solving one of Pakistan’s major issues with the ball: a proper enforcer in the middle overs. He clocked 150 kph hour today and now hurts New Zealand big time with twin strikes (both settled batters) to dent the Blackcaps.
Over 16: NZ 107-4 – Pakistan right on top
Conway and Phillips haven’t quite gotten going. The last three overs have yielded just 17 runs and the pressure is showing. Conway needs to get a move on here. No boundaries have come either and they just can’t go on like this. Shaheen Afridi now…
Over 13.1: NZ – 90/4 – Hasan Ali turning his day around
Hasan was guilty of leaking 15 runs in an over in the powerplay around some good bowling from his mates, but he’s turned it around here with this amazing run out. Really think Hasan is someone who thrives on momentum. He was really pumped up after sending Williamson back. Not great news, Kiwis fans.
Update: It’s all happening as Williamson turns it on against Hafeez. Good cricket from the skipper. Overturned an LBW call, and then charges Hafeez for a four and a six.
Over 11: NZ 63-3 – We need to talk about Shadab
There was quite a bit of discussion around Pakistan not picking Usman Qadir in the main squad when he had played a lot of T20Is for them in the build up to the tournament. Shadab’s performances, meanwhile, had suffered a dip in the last couple of years. But he has actually been really tidy in the two matches so far. A good spell against India when under pressure and broke the vital Virat Kohli – Rishabh Pant stand. Now, in his two overs he has leaked just four runs.
Over 9.1: NZ 56-3 – And Neesham goes…
Just not sure what New Zealand were thinking with that promotion. If they wanted a left-right duo, Conway was available and is best suited to batting inside the first 10 overs. Phillips, as I mentioned, is terrific in the middle overs. Then there is Seifert. Some needless meddling with the batting order in my opinion. Not entirely convinced by the Mitchell promotion either, as both he and Guptill were likely to struggle against Imad, although it was evident they wanted more left-handed options in the middle-order.
Update: Mitchell slogs out after smashing a six. This should be fun. James Neesham has come out ahead of Conway and Phillips. Phillips has one of the best strike-rates in the middle overs in T20Is (SR: 180.5) since 2019. Hmm, wonder if he is kept back for the death.
Over 8: NZ 48-1 – How will Williamson play this out?
This is a really interesting phase, particularly as we are in Sharjah. The middle overs need a bit of caution and aggression and Williamson is the perfect anchor to do that dual job. He has a set Mitchell out there. Will Mithcell be asked to take it all on while Williamson plays pecentage cricket?
Over 5.2: NZ 36-1 – Pakistan get rid of Guptill
This is a huge wicket with Mitchell not quite maximising the powerplay and Guptill starting to find his feet. Guptill strikes at over 175 in the middle overs. New Zealand could have really used a well-set Guptill there. Hasan Ali undid a lot of good work done by the Pakistan bowlers in that powerplay, but Rauf has pulled it back quite well.
Daryl Mitchell opening
It’s quite interesting that New Zealand have gone with Mitchell at the top. He opened in the warm-up game against Australia making 33 in 22 balls. But this is the first time he is opening for New Zealand in T20Is. It’s a bold move in the first game of a T20 World Cup, but it also helps them increasing left-handed options in the middle on these slow tracks where match ups play a huge part.
Mitchell has had an interesting couple of years in T20 cricket. He was quite effective in the No.3, No.4 role for Middlesex in the T20 Blast and back home in the Super Smash before that. In fact, I did a quick check, and this is indeed the first time he is opening in any T20 game. Wow!
Over 2: NZ 7/0 – No Shaheen strike yet
If Shaheen’s overs are a countdown, New Zealand have gotten through one powerplay over of Shaheen unscathed. They haven’t quite gotten the scoring rate up, but with Martin Guptill there, that shouldn’t be a concern. Shaheen has 13 wickets in the powerplay in T20Is with an economy rate of 6.8. Notably, there isn’t great swing. Breathe, New Zealand, breathe.
Toss update: Pakistan win the toss and opt to bowl first
Pakistan: Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Babar Azam(c), Fakhar Zaman, Mohammad Hafeez, Shoaib Malik, Asif Ali, Imad Wasim, Shadab Khan, Hasan Ali, Haris Rauf, Shaheen Afridi
New Zealand: Martin Guptill, Devon Conway, Glenn Phillips, Kane Williamson, Daryl Mitchell, James Neesham, Tim Seifert (wk), Mitchell Santner, Ish Sodhi, Tim Southee, Trent Boult
Pakistan are expectedly unchanged. Really interested to see in what roles New Zealand use Devon Conway, Glenn Phillips and Tim Seifert. If Conway is opening, will Seifert come above Williamson and Phillips or does he slot in down the order? Phillips is excellent in the middle overs, so should be getting to play those overs in my opinion.
Huge blow for New Zealand
Huge, huge blow for New Zealand ahead of their first T20 World Cup game. Lockie Ferguson has been ruled out of the tournament with a calf tear. Adam Milne will replace him in the team.
This is a bigger blow than it might seem like from that New Zealand release. Ferguson is their enforcer in the middle overs, aggressor in the death overs and has recently played in the IPL in UAE. While Milne was around too, he didn’t get as much game time. Ferguson’s IPL was outstanding and New Zealand will know his absence means that they will be faced with a few problems through those middle and death overs.
Remember those words?
Long before the T20 World Cup began, Pakistan fans had zeroed in on 26th October as the date for seeking revenge on the field for something that happened off it. New Zealand cancelled their tour of pakistan at the very last moment citing security issues and it DID NOT go well with Pakistan’s board and their chief, Ramiz Raja.
“Crazy day it has been! Feel so sorry for the fans and our players. Walking out of the tour by taking a unilateral approach on a security threat is very frustrating. Especially when it’s not shared!! Which world is NZ living in??NZ will hear us at ICC,” Raja wrote on Twitter.
Weeks later, here we are at the T20 World Cup, and expect Pakistan, in full spirits after their thumping win over India, to come out all guns blazing here.
The hype builds around Pakistan
Pakistan’s victory over India was the kind of statement win that makes every team in the competition take notice. Wisden India staff writer Divy Tripathi thinks Pakistan should now be considered outright favourites for the tournament.
The triumph was founded on a stellar opening stand between Mohammad Rizwan and Babar Azam, and Wisden.com managing editor Ben Gardner examines whether that pair might already be the best T20I opening pair there has been.
T20 World Cup 2021 Pakistan v New Zealand: Preview
A few months back, Pakistan versus New Zealand was yet another cricketing contest, between two strongly-matched sides. However, the cancellation of New Zealand’s limited-overs tour of Pakistan at the last minute, and the outcry in Pakistan over the same have ensured that this will be anything but another cricket game.
Pak vs NZ: Team news, injury updates and predicted XI
Pakistan was one of the few sides which made a number of changes to their squad before the T20 World Cup. Shoaib Malik, Haider Ali, Sarfaraz Ahmed, and Fakhar Zaman, are the ones who have made it to the main squad. Pakistan had a good outing during the warm-ups, winning a game against West Indies, and losing a close contest to South Africa.
New Zealand were among the first sides to announce their squad for the T20 World Cup. The captain had a minor injury concern in the lead up to the T20 World Cup, but has recovered, and batted in the side’s second warm-up game.
T20 World Cup 2021 Pakistan v New Zealand: Where to watch live
India: Star Sports Network; Disney+ Hotstar
UK & Ireland: Sky Sports Cricket, Sky Sports Main Event, Sky Sports Mix; Sky Sports app, www.skysports.com
Pakistan: PTV Sports
New Zealand: Sky Sport 3; Skysportnow.co.nz & skygo.co.nz
The complete list of broadcast (TV and live streaming) options for the tournament can be found here.