Pakistan have convincingly defeated New Zealand by 10 wickets in East London, South Africa, securing the top spot in Group D.
The Boys in Green successfully chased the target of 140, propelled by Shahzaib Khan’s outstanding unbeaten 80, complemented by Shamyl Hussain’s contribution of 57*.
Earlier, New Zealand opted to bat first. Ubaid Shah dominated by consistently troubling the batters, causing disruptions during his first spell. Luke Watson was dismissed by Ubaid with an exceptional delivery, sending his off-stump tumbling, barely giving him a chance to settle in. Tom Jones, despite hitting three boundaries, fell victim to Ubaid’s delivery that moved significantly in the seventh over, resulting in a thick edge caught by the keeper. Snehith Reddy also departed in the same over, losing his middle stump to Ubaid.
Oscar Jackson contributed 26 runs for the fourth wicket alongside Ollie Tewatiya but succumbed to a well-pitched ball from Mohammad Zeeshan. Lachlan Stackpole revived New Zealand’s innings with a series of boundaries against both pacers and spinners.
Naveed Khan’s strikes brought Pakistan back into the game, dismissing Stackpole as he attempted to hit the off-spinner over covers. The ball did not reach the desired height, leading to a catch by Shamyl Hussain. Tewatiya was stumped off Naveed’s bowling, and Ali Asfand and Arafat Minhas used their left-arm spin to dismantle the Kiwi tail.
New Zealand collapsed, getting bowled out for 140.
In the reply, Shamyl Hossain and Shahzaib Khan provided Pakistan with a perfect start, setting the tone for the chase. Shahzaib led the run-scoring, and the Boys in Green maintained a run rate of better than a run per ball. They reached the target in the 26th over, securing their position as the table-toppers.
In previous matches, the Saad Baig-led side defeated Nepal by five wickets and outclassed Afghanistan by 181 runs in the opening game.