New Zealand v Pakistan, 1st Twenty20, Auckland December 26, 2010

New Zealand gain from adjusted lengths

ESPNcricinfo staff
19

Ross Taylor, the New Zealand captain, has credited his bowlers for adapting to the unusual challenge posed by the reinstalled pitch at the Eden Park during the first Twenty20 game against Pakistan that the hosts won by five wickets. The strip had been reoriented ahead of the match, with the new drop-in track running from north to south, making the straight boundaries shorter than normal, forcing the bowlers to rework their lengths.

"Obviously the square [boundary] is a lot bigger, so if we erred, we erred on the shorter side, so that if they wanted to hit sixes, hopefully they hit it over the bigger boundary," Taylor said. "The angles were a bit easier than before, when it used to be a left-hand batsman's ground. It has now probably evened out to be a more equal batsman's ground."

Pakistan's top order cashed in on the unusual dimensions as they got off to a flier, with Shahid Afridi in particular targeting the short boundaries, and a few mis-hits carrying all the way. The introduction of Tim Southee changed the complexion of the game, as he derailed Pakistan with a smart set of variations, earning a five-for, including a hat-trick. He began his handiwork by nailing Ahmed Shehzad with a slower ball and Younis Khan with a short delivery.

"With the ground a bit bigger squarer, you have got more margin for error with the slower ball and bouncers and things like that," Southee said later. "I think that's the way we went at it, as a bowling unit."

Southee's burst restricted Pakistan to an under-par 143 and, despite the loss of wickets from one end, Martin Guptill ensured New Zealand had the momentum to chase it down comfortably. Taylor credited new coach John Wright for Guptill's refreshing approach at the crease. "With John coming into the side, he's started to get you to trust yourself and go out and play instinctively," Taylor said, "and the way Guptill went out there today was definitely that. I am sure he will get a lot of confidence from that."

Another positive sign for New Zealand was the emergence of the 18-year-old seamer Adam Milne who impressed with pace and bounce on his debut, though his figures of 0 for 46 suggested otherwise. "I thought he bowled well," Taylor said. "There were a couple of times where he was a bit unlucky, nicks and inside edges going for fours which ruined his figures a little bit.

"But he's 18 and he showed good pace and control for a youngster, even though he was getting a little bit of tap around the field, he kept a level head and he's got a big future. He would have learnt a lot from the way he bowled today and the next time he comes on to bowl, he will be a better bowler."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • SamAsh07 on December 27, 2010, 8:26 GMT

    Pakistan really need Mohammed Amir and Asif back, seriously, their bowling attack is worse than Bangladeshs, this target was defendable had their bowlers performed....Umar Gul is a unique star, he shines in 1 out of 10 matches...ICC must unban Amir atleast, in January, or I'm starting a petition.

  • on December 27, 2010, 8:25 GMT

    I have noticed NZ mostly win because of umpiring errors as in sub continent no umpire was biased so they lost all of 'em, anyway best of luck Pakistan!!

  • longlyfdragons on December 27, 2010, 8:09 GMT

    wow, you guys really need to stop complaining about the umpiring. On the day, Pakistan didnt come to perform at all, so stop bloody complaining you whiners. Even though Umar Akmals departure was wrong, that doesnt mean the umpiring for the whole entire match was. Just admit that Pakistan lost and stop being sore losers. FULL STOP!

  • on December 27, 2010, 7:57 GMT

    I didnt watch the match properly but from all accounts, we seem to getting even worse umpiring against NZ as we tend to get against south africa and australia. Easy to believe considering Billy Bowden is the same umpire who asked dhoni if he had caught inzy on a bump ball and dhoni said yes he had and inzy got out. Compare him to aleem dar who is trusted with the ashes and so far, all reviews on his decisions seem to be getting wasted and he didnt lose his cool when ponting did, in melbourne. May he earn more and more respect.

  • on December 27, 2010, 7:50 GMT

    somebody needs to tell the selectors that fawad alam cannot hit a six to save his life. After that horrid south africa match where he failed to save us by 2 or 3 runs, he should be reserved for tests if he MUST play. Someone should coach his defensive technique and train him to be a rock alongside azhar ali. 3rd & 4th positions for the future... As for asad shafique, he seems like a guy who can play in all formats, so far.

  • anver777 on December 27, 2010, 6:45 GMT

    At last...... NZ tasted a VICTORY !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • ProdigyA on December 27, 2010, 5:53 GMT

    @smasher, Pak made SA fight hard for their wins unlike India, in UAE flat beds which was critizised by everybody. Everybody knows what happened to pak recently in England in conditions similar to what India is facing rite now. And if you r still comparing India with Pak, u r not watching cricket my friend.

  • on December 27, 2010, 5:50 GMT

    Pakistan played against South Africa on slow lifeless wickets, unlike the green tops at kingsmead or centurian.So, the current pakistan is no way the indian team.

  • on December 27, 2010, 4:35 GMT

    Pakistan just got unlucky, All three of the New Zealand Umpires made stupid decisions which could've easily changed the game situation (umar akmal, the stumping).. Cant there be another umpire from another country....??

  • abu-huzaifah on December 27, 2010, 3:56 GMT

    So whats the selection criteria of picking an umpire for an international game in NZ???? May be has to wear "all blacks" goggles. Yeah Yeah...Pakistan would have lost the game despite Umar Akmal was given not out who is the best T 20 batsman for pakistan. Pakistan would have still lost the game despite Saeed Ajmal was given LBW or caught behind what ever it was but..who knows and who cares as he is no Umar Gul nor Wahab Riaz who can smash 30 runs and yeah Franklin foot was clearly behind the line too or was there enough doubt to give him not out when every one in the commentary box had no doubt. Hopefully in this series we will see NZ breaking more records and winning some games with the help of some local biased umpiring and no UDRS.

  • SamAsh07 on December 27, 2010, 8:26 GMT

    Pakistan really need Mohammed Amir and Asif back, seriously, their bowling attack is worse than Bangladeshs, this target was defendable had their bowlers performed....Umar Gul is a unique star, he shines in 1 out of 10 matches...ICC must unban Amir atleast, in January, or I'm starting a petition.

  • on December 27, 2010, 8:25 GMT

    I have noticed NZ mostly win because of umpiring errors as in sub continent no umpire was biased so they lost all of 'em, anyway best of luck Pakistan!!

  • longlyfdragons on December 27, 2010, 8:09 GMT

    wow, you guys really need to stop complaining about the umpiring. On the day, Pakistan didnt come to perform at all, so stop bloody complaining you whiners. Even though Umar Akmals departure was wrong, that doesnt mean the umpiring for the whole entire match was. Just admit that Pakistan lost and stop being sore losers. FULL STOP!

  • on December 27, 2010, 7:57 GMT

    I didnt watch the match properly but from all accounts, we seem to getting even worse umpiring against NZ as we tend to get against south africa and australia. Easy to believe considering Billy Bowden is the same umpire who asked dhoni if he had caught inzy on a bump ball and dhoni said yes he had and inzy got out. Compare him to aleem dar who is trusted with the ashes and so far, all reviews on his decisions seem to be getting wasted and he didnt lose his cool when ponting did, in melbourne. May he earn more and more respect.

  • on December 27, 2010, 7:50 GMT

    somebody needs to tell the selectors that fawad alam cannot hit a six to save his life. After that horrid south africa match where he failed to save us by 2 or 3 runs, he should be reserved for tests if he MUST play. Someone should coach his defensive technique and train him to be a rock alongside azhar ali. 3rd & 4th positions for the future... As for asad shafique, he seems like a guy who can play in all formats, so far.

  • anver777 on December 27, 2010, 6:45 GMT

    At last...... NZ tasted a VICTORY !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • ProdigyA on December 27, 2010, 5:53 GMT

    @smasher, Pak made SA fight hard for their wins unlike India, in UAE flat beds which was critizised by everybody. Everybody knows what happened to pak recently in England in conditions similar to what India is facing rite now. And if you r still comparing India with Pak, u r not watching cricket my friend.

  • on December 27, 2010, 5:50 GMT

    Pakistan played against South Africa on slow lifeless wickets, unlike the green tops at kingsmead or centurian.So, the current pakistan is no way the indian team.

  • on December 27, 2010, 4:35 GMT

    Pakistan just got unlucky, All three of the New Zealand Umpires made stupid decisions which could've easily changed the game situation (umar akmal, the stumping).. Cant there be another umpire from another country....??

  • abu-huzaifah on December 27, 2010, 3:56 GMT

    So whats the selection criteria of picking an umpire for an international game in NZ???? May be has to wear "all blacks" goggles. Yeah Yeah...Pakistan would have lost the game despite Umar Akmal was given not out who is the best T 20 batsman for pakistan. Pakistan would have still lost the game despite Saeed Ajmal was given LBW or caught behind what ever it was but..who knows and who cares as he is no Umar Gul nor Wahab Riaz who can smash 30 runs and yeah Franklin foot was clearly behind the line too or was there enough doubt to give him not out when every one in the commentary box had no doubt. Hopefully in this series we will see NZ breaking more records and winning some games with the help of some local biased umpiring and no UDRS.

  • shahidmahmood on December 26, 2010, 23:19 GMT

    Pakistan did make a good start, in the power play they made 58/2 (in six overs). Tim Southee bowled bad but Pakistan failed to handle is low speeds. And on top of that NZ had the (very cheap [and blind] and unfair) umpires + the 3rd umpire. Afridi shouldn't have opened and Fawad didn't need to get out like he did. Akhtar shouldn't have bowled 4 overs. And why did Pakistan open the bowling with 7th bowler, Razzaq. Hafeez cost Pakistan 29 runs in 3 overs. Close match and Pakistan needs a slight improvement to win the next match. Pakistan ZINDABAD!!!

  • syedahmed91 on December 26, 2010, 22:42 GMT

    The pitch looked like a high school cricket field. All you needed to do was to get bat on the ball and it would go for a 6. It is unfortunate pakistan lost soo many wickets early in the game. I'm looking forward to a solid reply from the pakistan team.

  • Smasher79 on December 26, 2010, 20:22 GMT

    Billy Bowden is in the elite only for his clownish style. If it was for his umpiring he wouldn't even be standing there today. I have absolutely no doubt in the potential of this current Pakistani players. At least they made SA work hard for their wins unlike INDIA. But my only reservation is this guy FAWAD ALAM. I keep saying it now and then, what did the selectors see in this powerless boy with a woman's wrist? Rest I wish all the best to the Pak team.

  • Finn92 on December 26, 2010, 19:46 GMT

    Another mixed bag from Pakistan again, I thought that they were getting fairly consistent in this format but they have lost their last 5 or so, oh well you can't really rely on them to be consistent! I would also like to add that Milne did look really good and his figures don't do him justice in the slightest, if he stays free of stress fractures that can cripple young body's under strain he could be the next Shane Bond!

  • khurramsch on December 26, 2010, 18:33 GMT

    well yes umars decision was wrong. may be mainly given as it was a hattrick ball. but over all middle order batting was poor.they got good start.umar & riaz restore some respect.i think some of afridis bowling changes were not good. Alam is a good 1 day ( made three 40+ scores in SA series) & test player but not a T20. he needs time to get in. they should bring Asad for him.Pka played with 7 bowlers yestrdy. yes batting was poor but 1 more concern for me is that 3 top wicket takers in t20. gul afridi & ajmal are not getting much wickets. have seen this during SA & ENG t20's. they hardley take any wicket . so that is a big concern

  • StealthAssasin on December 26, 2010, 18:17 GMT

    As an avid Pakistani supporter, Pakistan need to take a leaf out of India's book. Younus Khan - great batsman albeit in the test arena RETIRED from T20 matches - "I am too old for this type of cricket"! He should be reserved for TEST MATCHES...Shaizeb Hassan was fantastic in Pakistan's last T20 match against S.Africa, but the typically intelligent Pakistani selectors did not pick him??

    Asad Shafiq should also be brought in as he is a diamond in the making!

  • on December 26, 2010, 16:46 GMT

    Shahid Afridi had one left arm bowler and he gave him only one over to bowl. When a team has a low score to defend then you throw variety at the opponents. Afridi does not seem to have a presence of mind and he does not adjust to a situation. Poor Afridi captaincy, poor batting by Pakistan and Poor Umpiring.

  • K-amps on December 26, 2010, 12:40 GMT

    NZ played positive and won. But I cannot get my mind off that elite NZ umpire that gave Akmal out LBW to a ball he played with his bat... took the shine off the win.

  • achee on December 26, 2010, 11:21 GMT

    Pakistan is now no longer good in the Twenty20 format of the game, they lost to South Africa , England and now New Zealand which means their fifth consecutive loss in Twenty20 Internationals.

    Pakistan's batting is a big worry and it seems the bowlers are doing both the job of batting as well as bowling playing more like all rounnders as was seen by Umar Gul and Wahab Riaz's batting. Pakistan will need more contribution from specialist batsmen in their batting line up.

    Having said that these conditions suit New Zealand more than Pakistan and I think Pakistan will struggle in Twenty20 series as well as Test series. The ODI series will be a lot closer as Pakistan is in good form in ODI's.

  • No featured comments at the moment.

  • achee on December 26, 2010, 11:21 GMT

    Pakistan is now no longer good in the Twenty20 format of the game, they lost to South Africa , England and now New Zealand which means their fifth consecutive loss in Twenty20 Internationals.

    Pakistan's batting is a big worry and it seems the bowlers are doing both the job of batting as well as bowling playing more like all rounnders as was seen by Umar Gul and Wahab Riaz's batting. Pakistan will need more contribution from specialist batsmen in their batting line up.

    Having said that these conditions suit New Zealand more than Pakistan and I think Pakistan will struggle in Twenty20 series as well as Test series. The ODI series will be a lot closer as Pakistan is in good form in ODI's.

  • K-amps on December 26, 2010, 12:40 GMT

    NZ played positive and won. But I cannot get my mind off that elite NZ umpire that gave Akmal out LBW to a ball he played with his bat... took the shine off the win.

  • on December 26, 2010, 16:46 GMT

    Shahid Afridi had one left arm bowler and he gave him only one over to bowl. When a team has a low score to defend then you throw variety at the opponents. Afridi does not seem to have a presence of mind and he does not adjust to a situation. Poor Afridi captaincy, poor batting by Pakistan and Poor Umpiring.

  • StealthAssasin on December 26, 2010, 18:17 GMT

    As an avid Pakistani supporter, Pakistan need to take a leaf out of India's book. Younus Khan - great batsman albeit in the test arena RETIRED from T20 matches - "I am too old for this type of cricket"! He should be reserved for TEST MATCHES...Shaizeb Hassan was fantastic in Pakistan's last T20 match against S.Africa, but the typically intelligent Pakistani selectors did not pick him??

    Asad Shafiq should also be brought in as he is a diamond in the making!

  • khurramsch on December 26, 2010, 18:33 GMT

    well yes umars decision was wrong. may be mainly given as it was a hattrick ball. but over all middle order batting was poor.they got good start.umar & riaz restore some respect.i think some of afridis bowling changes were not good. Alam is a good 1 day ( made three 40+ scores in SA series) & test player but not a T20. he needs time to get in. they should bring Asad for him.Pka played with 7 bowlers yestrdy. yes batting was poor but 1 more concern for me is that 3 top wicket takers in t20. gul afridi & ajmal are not getting much wickets. have seen this during SA & ENG t20's. they hardley take any wicket . so that is a big concern

  • Finn92 on December 26, 2010, 19:46 GMT

    Another mixed bag from Pakistan again, I thought that they were getting fairly consistent in this format but they have lost their last 5 or so, oh well you can't really rely on them to be consistent! I would also like to add that Milne did look really good and his figures don't do him justice in the slightest, if he stays free of stress fractures that can cripple young body's under strain he could be the next Shane Bond!

  • Smasher79 on December 26, 2010, 20:22 GMT

    Billy Bowden is in the elite only for his clownish style. If it was for his umpiring he wouldn't even be standing there today. I have absolutely no doubt in the potential of this current Pakistani players. At least they made SA work hard for their wins unlike INDIA. But my only reservation is this guy FAWAD ALAM. I keep saying it now and then, what did the selectors see in this powerless boy with a woman's wrist? Rest I wish all the best to the Pak team.

  • syedahmed91 on December 26, 2010, 22:42 GMT

    The pitch looked like a high school cricket field. All you needed to do was to get bat on the ball and it would go for a 6. It is unfortunate pakistan lost soo many wickets early in the game. I'm looking forward to a solid reply from the pakistan team.

  • shahidmahmood on December 26, 2010, 23:19 GMT

    Pakistan did make a good start, in the power play they made 58/2 (in six overs). Tim Southee bowled bad but Pakistan failed to handle is low speeds. And on top of that NZ had the (very cheap [and blind] and unfair) umpires + the 3rd umpire. Afridi shouldn't have opened and Fawad didn't need to get out like he did. Akhtar shouldn't have bowled 4 overs. And why did Pakistan open the bowling with 7th bowler, Razzaq. Hafeez cost Pakistan 29 runs in 3 overs. Close match and Pakistan needs a slight improvement to win the next match. Pakistan ZINDABAD!!!

  • abu-huzaifah on December 27, 2010, 3:56 GMT

    So whats the selection criteria of picking an umpire for an international game in NZ???? May be has to wear "all blacks" goggles. Yeah Yeah...Pakistan would have lost the game despite Umar Akmal was given not out who is the best T 20 batsman for pakistan. Pakistan would have still lost the game despite Saeed Ajmal was given LBW or caught behind what ever it was but..who knows and who cares as he is no Umar Gul nor Wahab Riaz who can smash 30 runs and yeah Franklin foot was clearly behind the line too or was there enough doubt to give him not out when every one in the commentary box had no doubt. Hopefully in this series we will see NZ breaking more records and winning some games with the help of some local biased umpiring and no UDRS.