Comeback kid Mohammad Amir may have been the cynosure of all eyes at the Pakistan vs New Zealand match at Eden Park, Auckland, on Friday, but Boom Boom Afridi stole his thunder. True to style, the Pakistani skipper led his team from the front, giving his die-hard fans a day to remember. Pakistan won the match by 16 runs after giving New Zealand a target of 171.
Mohammad Hafeez set up a solid foundation for the Greenshirts, scoring 61 off 47 deliveries, with eight thrilling boundaries and a couple of sixes thrown in to delight the crowd. It was Man of the Match Shahid Afridi, however, who hogged the limelight with a day’s performance and a half. He scored a scintillating 23 off 8 balls, took 2 wickets for 23, landed three catches and brought about a run-out. No wonder he was the darling of the huge chunk of Pakistan supporters in the spectators’ stands.
With Pakistan’s batting over at 171-8, it seemed that New Zealand had a fair chance of beating them, and with Munro at the crease, they galloped to 89-1, but his wicket led to a collapse, five batsmen falling for 19 runs, a loss the home-team could not recover from. At the last ball of the match, they were all out for 155.
Pakistani bowlers did an impressive job of restricting their opponents – Wahab Riaz took 3-34, Amir 1-31, and showing amazing control of the ball, Imad Wasim took 1-18 in four overs.
Pakistani cricket enthusiasts are ecstatic about the victory, hoping it’s not just beginners’ luck. We’ll have to wait and find out on Sunday when the second match will be played at Hamilton.
Good Luck Team Green!!