Pakistan beat New Zealand by 7 wickets in the first T20 game yesterday in Dubai. After restricting the Kiwis to a modest total, the hosts were clinical with the bat as they hunted down the target in 19.1 overs to take a 1-0 lead. The second and last game will be played later today on the same ground.
Sarfraz Ahmad, who has been the best batsman for Pakistan in all formats in the recent times, was in top form again as he scored 70 plus opening the batting to get his team to the win. A few people remained awestruck by his improvisation especially with the six that he hit off Matt Henry over square leg. Henry was clocking close to 90 miles an hour, but, that did not make Sarfraz hesitate in playing the sweep shot. He went forward and easily lofted the ball as if he was playing against a gentle medium pacer. The expression that was on Henry’s face after that shot was played was worth seeing. He could not believe that he was treated that rudely by the batsman.
This was not the first time that Sarfraz swept a fast bowler for six. He had done that to James Faulkner, the Australian fast bowler, in the 3-match ODI series a few weeks ago. The Pakistani wicketkeeper has got great eyes and he is gutsy too. No matter however good hand-eye coordination you have, playing such shots takes some guts.
Pakistani bowling also deserves some credit for this win against New Zealand. In the death, the bowlers of the home team were superb, especially Irfan who was bowling the full balls that were tailing in for the left handers and were curving away from the right handers making the big hitting difficult.