New Zealand 146 for 5 (Guptill 54) beat Pakistan 143 for 9 (Southee 5-18 by five wickets
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details
The youngsters shone for New Zealand as they defeated Pakistan by five wickets in the first Twenty20 at Eden Park. Tim Southee ripped the heart out of the Pakistan line-up with a brutal spell of five for 18 in four overs, and Martin Guptill's fearless half-century ensured the chase went smoothly for the hosts. The visitors had rocketed to 58 for 1 in 5.5 overs before Southee struck five times in nine deliveries to derail the middle order, using his height and pace to torment the batsmen on the quick, hard surface, and throwing in the odd slower ball to keep them guessing. Guptill then attacked the Pakistan bowling with style and chutzpah, to get his team off to a rapid start, and continued to attack throughout his innings, despite the fall of wickets at the other end.
Guptill began with gusto as he flayed Abdul Razzaq for 15 in his first over with two commanding strikes and a tickle down to fine leg, before hoisting Shoaib Akhtar for a giant six over square-leg. The pace of the Auckland pitch showed up three balls later as Jesse Ryder's thick edge off Shoaib flew at shoulder height to slip, almost at the edge of the circle. Guptill continued to make merry despite the loss, hitting Shoaib for another six on the leg-side before the bowler struck again, this time to remove debutant Dean Brownlie for five.
Scott Styris uppercut his second ball for six, but was undone soon after by Shoaib, attempting an ugly slog across the line to an indipper that pegged back leg stump. Shoiab had another, and the aeroplane was on show for the third time in three overs, but although there were breakthroughs, Guptill's fireworks at the other end boosted the score to 55 in five overs.
The Pakistan spinners provided some respite, but Guptill motored to his maiden Twenty20 fifty in 23 deliveries, hitting Wahab Riaz for consecutive boundaries and lofting Mohammad Hafeez over long-on. The dazzling knock came to an end when he was run out attempting an ill-advised single on 53, after having pushed the Pakistan fielders to the limit with swift singles during his stay.
Ross Taylor was content to cruise alongside James Franklin while the spinners operated, with his side well ahead of the required rate. Hafeez picked up his second wicket when he hurried one onto Franklin, but with 29 runs to get in more than five overs, the victory was all but secured. A couple of trademark slog sweeps later, New Zealand were within striking distance, and Peter McGlashan finished the job for the hosts with 2.5 overs to spare.
The Pakistan innings too was off to a rollicking start, thanks to some aggressive intent from the Pakistan openers. Shahid Afridi, having promoted himself to the top, wasted little time unfurling his signature slogs, while Hafeez also swung away with abandon to propel Pakistan to 36 in 3.5 overs, before the wickets began to tumble.
Afridi was caught at mid-on by a backpedalling Ross Taylor, after New Zealand's other debutant, Adam Milne, had shelled a chance off the previous delivery. Pakistan kept the foot on the pedal as they raced to 50 in five overs. Southee then came on to cripple the innings with pace, movement and bounce to leave Pakistan reeling at 68 for 6. Southee's barrage included a hat-trick - New Zealand's second in Twenty20 internationals, and third overall - which accounted for Younis Khan, Hafeez and Umar Akmal, who was wrongly given out lbw.
Umar Gul and Riaz were on hand for Pakistan, scoring invaluable thirties as the tail pushed Pakistan towards respectability with some sensible batting and a flurry of late boundaries. Southee's spell, however, had done the damage, and 143 proved too few to defend on a ground with a hard surface and short straight boundaries.