Rauf helped Pakistan beat New Zealand in the World Cup.



Fast bowler Haris Rauf’s career-best 4-22 helped Pakistan beat New Zealand by five wickets to record their second consecutive victory in the Twenty20 World Cup on Tuesday.

Encouraged by his stellar performance in defeating traditional rivals India by 10 wickets on Sunday, Rauf encouraged the 2009 champions to win in front of an enthusiastic crowd in Sharjah, which included mainly Pakistani expatriates. Were

New Zealand’s Devon Conway and Daryl Mitchell both scored 27 runs, while captain Ken Williamson scored 25 off 26 balls as New Zealand were held 134-8.

Veteran Shoaib Malik (27) and Asif Ali (26) combined to pile Pakistan 87-5 and lead the team to their target in 18.4 overs.

Pakistan lost captain Babar Azam to Tim Southee – bowled for nine in the sixth over – as the fast bowler took his 100th wicket in his 84th T20 International.

He is only the third bowler in the format to take 100 or more wickets after Bangladesh’s Shakib Al Hasan (117 in 92 T20Is) and Sri Lanka’s Lasith Malinga (107 in 84).

League spinner Ash Sodhi trapped both Fakhr Zaman (11) and Mohammad Rizwan and left Pakistan 69-4.

Between the two outs, Conway made a brilliant diving catch on a wide long off to get Mohammad Hafeez out who tried to get spinner Mitchell Sentner off the ground.

Even when Emad Wasim fell for 11, Pakistan still needed 47 off 31 balls.

It was left to Asif – notorious for his consistent failures – to hit two sixes off Southee in the 17th over to take the target to 24 in the last three.

Malik hit a four and a six off the centurion’s ball, reducing it to nine in two overs.

Asif hit the bolt before hitting the winning runs.

Read on Prime Minister Imran Khan congratulated the Afghan team on winning the World Cup.

It was Rauf who did more damage than the ball against New Zealand – sent to bat on a slower pitch – improving on his previous best of 3-29, against the same opponents last year.

Pakistan applied pressure from the start as left-arm fast bowler Shaheen Shah Afridi, who was declared the man of the match for taking three wickets against India, bowled the first over.

New Zealand reached 36 without loss when Rauf bowled Martin Guptill for 17. He also bowled Conway and Glenn Phillips (13) in one over as New Zealand failed to pick up the tempo at any stage.

There was no boundary in 14-16 overs until Phillips – who hit the most sixes with 36 in England’s T20 blast this year – failed to clear the boundary.

Rauf also dismissed the centurion (six) on the last ball of the last over.

Shaheen took 1-21 while spinners Hafeez and Emad also took one wicket each.

Pakistan retained the same team that defeated India.

New Zealand – playing its first match in the Super 12 – suffered a setback before the start of the match when fast bowler Loki Ferguson was ruled out of the tournament due to a shin injury.

Pakistan’s next match will be against Afghanistan in Dubai on Friday, while New Zealand will face India in Dubai on Sunday.

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