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#PAKvNZ | With Mohali crowd cheering every wicket, Pakistan fail to impress as NZ score 180

Speed News Desk | Updated on: 14 February 2017, 6:01 IST

The crowd cheered every wicket that the men in green took while every six hit by the New Zealand batsmen was met with groans. No, this was not Pakistan playing New Zealand in Multan but in Mohali, right in the heart of Punjab.

And that's just another day in the ongoing ICC World T20 as the black caps and the men in green clash in a must win match for the latter. The Pakistani bowlers did not disappoint the crowd, but would probably admit that New Zealand should have been restricted to less than 180, a total they reached in their stipulated 20 overs in the first innings.

Call it geographical proximity, or call it whatever you want, but the match almost seems like a home game for Pakistan. Even their fast bowlers find themselves at ease with the conditions on the field, with the Mohali pitch assisting them with its generous layer of grass.

However, Martin Guptill played party pooper as he scored a blistering 80 off 48 balls after opening the innings. Mohammad Sami took his wicket in the 16th over, only for Luke Ronchi to walk in and continue from where Guptill left.

In-form pace bowler Mohammad Amir was given the responsibility of bowling the last over of the innings, with the scoreboard reading 164-5. But after he was hit for a six off the very first ball by Ross Taylor, Pakistan's hopes of restricting New Zealand to a total of less than 175 were dashed.

For Pakistan to remain in the T20 World Cup, opening batsman Ahmed Shahzad must fire, and so must skipper Shahid Afridi if they are to get anywhere near the total that New Zealand have set. However, they can be assured that New Zealand will not enjoy one thing - the support of the entire stadium behind them.

First published: 22 March 2016, 9:16 IST
 
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