Pakistan gave Mohammed Amir a winning comeback in the opening match of the T20 international series against New Zealand, and Shahid Afridi's men will hope to clinch the series with another victory in the 2nd T20 in Hamilton on Sunday.
While there was plenty of attention on Amir, Afridi was the star of the match for Pakistan, with the captain involved in plenty of wickets -- picking up a couple of his own – while the veteran also chipped in with a typical Afridi innings of 23 from eight balls.
Put into bat first in the first T20, Pakistan put on 171, thanks largely to a half-century from Mohammad Hafeez. Amir could only pick up one wicket on his comeback, but Pakistan triggered a spectacular New Zealand middle order collapse to clinch a 16-run win.
"Mohammad Hafeez played an awesome innings, but I must say it was a great team effort," Afridi, who was also the man of the match for his all-round performance, said in the presentation ceremony after the win. "We just arrived two days ago, we weren't used to the pitch, but we were confident of defending 171.
"I must give credit to the fast bowlers, especially Umar Gul and Mohammad Amir, they made their comebacks and bowled really well."
New Zealand, having dominated Sri Lanka in the Test, ODI and T20 series, would have been stung by the loss to Pakistan, with Kane Williamson still figuring himself and his team out, in the absence of Brendon McCullum. McCullum's importance to his team can never be undervalued, and the Kiwis have to find a way to recover from the poor defeat to Pakistan and bounce back with a victory to level the series.
The middle order, which collapsed like a house of cards, after Colin Munro's special innings, will be strengthened , though, by the return of Ross Taylor, who was rested for the first match.
"Pakistan played very well [in the first match], they are a very good T20 side," Williamson said. "We know we're in for a tough fight. [But] Hamilton will be a slightly different surface, and we are confident of bouncing back."
Where to Watch Live
New Zealand vs Pakistan is scheduled for a 7 pm local time (11.30 am IST, 6 am GMT, 1 am ET) start. Unfortunately, for India viewers, there will be no live coverage of the match.
Viewers in Pakistan can watch the 2nd T20 live on PTV Sports, with the live streaming online option on PTV Sports Live.
Willow TV is the place to be to watch the game live in the US, while Pakistan vs New Zealand can also be live streamed on Willow TV Online.
Viewers in South Africa and Sub Saharan Africa can watch New Zealand vs Pakistan live on SuperSport, with the live stream option on SuperSport Live Video.
Audience in Australia can watch the game live on Fox Sports 5 and Foxtel.