Pakistan A strangle New Zealand

The first Twenty20 match in this year’s Top End Series has been played and won, with Pakistan A completing a relatively comfortable win over their New Zealand counterparts.

Pakistan A’s captain Misbah-ul-Haq shocked the New Zealanders with a fiery 107, including the particularly harsh slaughtering of Central District’s Richard Sherlock, who had earlier dismissed both Pakistan A openers cheaply but ended up with the unflattering figures of 2/47 from his four overs.

Misbah’s innings truly was a masterpiece of 20Twenty hitting; in a display of power and timing he stroked eight fours and five sixes against a New Zealand attack who strived to contain him. Containment is something they are admittedly quite good at, as they limited the next highest score to just 17, which was scored by Hasan Raza. It was a fine display of a captain’s innings, and it accounted for 65% of his team’s total.

Inspired by their captain, the Pakistani bowlers decided to go for the win, and their attacking style of bowling paid off. Paceman Wasim Khan and slow-left-armer Fawad Alam in particlar demonstrated their emerging talents. Craig McMillan’s New Zealand A were dismissed for just 104, with the Pakistani spinners doing the majority of the damage. The maturing Mark Orchard was the highest New Zealand scorer, with his 24 saving New Zealand A a bit of face. The most worrying aspect of this game for McMillian is that top five batsmen all scored at least ten, but were unable to convert their starts into higher scores.

Pakistan A 164-5 (20)
Misbah-ul-Haq 107 (76)
Richard Sherlock 2/47 (4), Jeetan Patel 1/22 (4)

Pakistan A win by 60 runs

New Zealand A 104 all out (16.4)
Mark Orchard 24 (23), Michael Papps 14 (14)
Fawad Alam 2/14 (4), Wasim Khan 2/15 (3)

Cricket Web Man of the Match
Misbah-ul-Haq (107 from 76 balls, including eight fours and five sixes)

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