T20 World Cup: Pakistan beat New Zealand for second win in three days

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ICC Men's T20 World Cup Sharjah New Zealand 134-8 (20 runs): Mitchell 27 (20), Conway27 (24); Rauf4-22 Pakistan 135-5 (18.4overs) Rizwan 33 (34)), Asif 27 (12), Shoaib26 (20); Sodhi2-28 Pakistan won by five wickets Scorecard & Tables

Asif Ali and Shoaib Malik formed a brutal partnership that led Pakistan to their second Men’s T20 World Cup win in just three days.

After elating India by 10 wickets to the death, Pakistan won a tight game against New Zealand by five wickets in Sharjah.

To secure success with eight balls remaining, Shoaib & Asif shared 48 to Chasing 135.

New Zealand's first game in Group 2 was a 134-8 loss. Haris Rauf took 4-22.

Asif, who was twice treated for concussion-like symptoms by a Tim Southee bouncer after top-edging him into his helmet, scored an unbeaten 27 from just 12 balls, with three sixes.

His 23-ball partnership of Shoaib and Shoaib (who made 26 from 20) saw them return home and boost Pakistan's hopes for the semi-finals. There were games against Afghanistan and Namibia, and Scotland.

Black Caps pace bowler Lockie Fergus has been removed from the tournament due to a calf injury and was replaced by Adam Milne, who is part of the 15-player team.

Asif and Shoaib shine

Although there were high hopes for another high scoring game after Afghanistan scored 190 at Sharjah, this game was back to the slower pitches of the Indian Premier League.

Even with that, 135 seemed within Pakistan's grasp, especially after India's demolition. Asif was out with five wickets and Shoaib, who had not been out in any of the 18 winning international chases, was nine balls into his innings.

Asif, who averages 16.38 in international T20s only, hit his first ball for four through the point, before taking control in the 17th over.

Southee was the third international T20 bowler to win 100 wickets. He bowled Babar Azam over long-off before moving straighter next ball. This allowed him to reduce the required run rate to nearly a run per-ball.

After suffering a head injury, the 30-year-old pulled another six over mid-wicket. This was a remarkable display of courage and bravery.

Shoaib, 39 years old, was late to the tournament but justified it by using his entire experience at the other side to rotate the strike, and identify the boundaries with bad balls.

Pakistan bowlers excel again

Pakistan looks well-covered in the bowling ranks with the left-arm paces of Shaheen Afridi and Rauf, as well as the spin of Mohammad Hafeez, Shadab Khan, and Imad Wasim.

Today was all about Rauf's raw pace. He bowled Martin Guptill his first ball, a savage yorker.

The 27-year old defeated Glenn Phillips and Devon Conway in the 18th over, which allowed Pakistan to squeeze their rivals.

Mitchell Santner drove him to the boundary in a spectacular performance, but Rauf bowled him off his last ball to complete another impressive performance by Pakistan. They took five wickets for only 44 runs over the seven remaining overs.

New Zealand lost their warm-up game and found batting difficult. They will need to learn how to bat more fluently in these conditions.

Conway's sensational catch is lost

A tight game ended in a thrilling match in front of a large crowd from Pakistan. But the real highlight was Conway's superb Superman-style diving catch.

Hafeez wanted to dive out-to-in rather than long-off, but Conway ran around and dived at full speed. Conway took a great diving catch.

It received a lot of attention from the cricket community and #bbccricket fans...

Erling L.: Wow, what a catch by Conway. This has to be one of the most impressive speccys of the World Cup sofar.

Jack Rule: Devon Conway, what was that? This should not have been possible!

"Pakistan is the one to watch" - that's what they said

Babar Azam, Pakistan captain: "It is always good to win. We'll take that confidence forward in this tournament. Although I believe we gave them 10 runs more than they needed, it is possible.

"We lost wickets very early. But I want to credit Shoaib Malik, Asif Ali and Asif Khan. Every game is important."

Kane Williamson, New Zealand captain: "It's very disappointing. We were optimistic at half-time and we thought a lot about what Pakistan would do to us.

"It's hard to swallow, but they're a very strong side and they're one to watch."

Alex Hartley, former England spinner: "New Zealand were only 15 to 20 runs short." It would have been difficult for Pakistan to get 150 runs, but they were able to score low enough that they weren't afraid.

"This result opens up the group, and you never know what might happen." Pakistan looks like the team to beat."