T20 World Cup 2021: Asif Ali, Malik steer Pakistan to nervy win over New Zealand

T20 World Cup 2021: With two wins in as many matches Pakistan sits comfortably on top of Group 2 and is nearly assured of a semifinal spot.

Asif Ali (in pic) and Shoaib Malik's quickfire partnership steered Pakistan to a nervy win over New Zealand in Sharjah.   -  Getty Images

Pakistan registered its second consecutive win in the ICC T20 World Cup, beating New Zealand by five wickets in their Super 12 match in Sharjah on Tuesday.

Sent into bat, New Zealand was restricted to 134 for eight. Pakistan completed the task with eight balls to spare and, in a way, exacted revenge for what it considered an off-field snub by the Kiwis in the run-up to the T20 showpiece.

New Zealand had pulled out of a tour of Pakistan last month citing security concerns, leaving the host nation disappointed and angry.

AS IT HAPPENED

Chasing a modest target of 135, Pakistan lost its in-from skipper Babar Azam for 9 with the total reading 28 in the sixth over.

Mohammad Rizwan contributed 33, even as Fakhar Zaman and Mohammad Hafeez got out for identical scores of 11.

However, Asif Ali (27 not out) and the experienced Shoiab Malik (26) joined forces and took the match away from New Zealand with their sensible batting.

Earlier, New Zealand was restricted to 134 for eight in its Group 2 game.

READ: T20 World Cup: Southee becomes third bowler to pick 100 wickets in all formats

None of the New Zealand batters could make substantial contributions at the comparatively smaller ground.

Opener Daryl Mitchell made 27, skipper Kane Williamson contributed 25 while Devon Conway managed to score 27 as the Kiwis struggled to get going against Pakistan's formidable bowling attack.

Fast bowler Haris Rauf returned excellent figures of 4/22, while there was wicket apiece for Shaheen Afridi, Imad Wasim and Mohammad Hafeez.

Brief scores

New Zealand: 134/8 in 20 overs (Daryl Mitchell 27, Devon Conway 27; Haris Rauf 4/22).

Pakistan: 135/5 in 18.4 overs (Mohammad Rizwan 33, Shoaib Malik 26 not out, Asif Ali 27 not out; Ish Sodhi 2/28).

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