"Pakistan are a very good team": New Zealand skipper Mitchell Santner

Sports Wednesday 17/January/2024 11:11 AM
"Pakistan are a very good team": New Zealand skipper Mitchell Santner

Dunedin [New Zealand], January 17 (ANI): Following New Zealand's 45-run win over Pakistan in the third T20I match in Dunedin on Wednesday, Kiwi skipper Mitchell Santner showered praise on the 'Men in Green' and said that they have a good squad.

While speaking at the post-match presentation, Santner said that the visitors had displayed a quality performance in the third 20-over match.

Talking about the Kiwis' 224/7 total in the first inning, the batting allrounder said that it was nice to have a big total on a small ground at University Oval.

"Pakistan are a very good team and they've shown that when they've come here and wherever we play them. I think we have to talk about trying to do it for as long as he can and he did it for a long time today (on Finn Allen). It's nice to have a (big) score on a small ground. But I guess the scoreboard pressure, (allows us to be) aggressive and then you know, try and get that run rate quite high," Santner said.

Recapping the match, Allen's (137 runs from 62 balls) onslaught put doubts in Pakistan skipper Afridi's mind following his decision to field after winning the toss.

In the 18th over Allen struck a six which took New Zealand past the 200-run mark in the first ball of the 18th over. Zaman Khan removed Allen on the next ball which helped Pakistan to control the flow of leaking runs. The Men in Green conceded just 13 runs in the final two overs. New Zealand ended up with a total of 224-7 which saw the likes of Haris Rauf and Afridi conceding 2/60 and 1/43 respectively. Mohammad Wasim's spell of 1/35 (4) was the least expensive among the Pakistan bowlers.

In the second inning, Saim Ayub (10 runs from 13 balls) and Mohammad Rizwan (24 runs from 20 balls) opened for Pakistan to chase down a total of 225 runs from 20 overs. However, the openers failed to make a mark as the Kiwis picked up early wickets.

Babar Azam (58 runs from 37 balls) was the only standout batter for the 'Men in Green', but the hosts did not give the visitors a chance to make a solid partnership. In the end, Shaheen Afridi (16*) and Mohammad Wasim Jr (1*) were unbeaten on the crease and took Pakistan to 179/7 after the end of 20 overs. Meanwhile, Tim Southee led the Kiwi bowling attack and he scalped two wickets in his four-over spell.