Duffy stars on debut as New Zealand take T20 series opener

By Sports Desk December 18, 2020

Jacob Duffy claimed a four-wicket haul on his international debut as New Zealand triumphed in the Twenty20 series opener against Pakistan in Auckland.

With Lockie Ferguson ruled out through injury and Trent Boult absent for the first of three T20 matches between the countries, pace bowler Duffy seized his opportunity to help restrict the tourists to 153-9.

A Pakistan top order missing talismanic captain Babar Azam – ruled out due to a broken thumb – lost four wickets for 20 runs in the opening 25 deliveries of their innings at Eden Park, a terrible start having elected to bat first after winning the toss.

Duffy claimed three of them during a one-sided powerplay, including Abdullah Shafique and Mohammad Hafeez for ducks, as he finished with 4-33. 

Shadab Khan was his final wicket after Pakistan's stand-in skipper had made a top score of 42 from 32 deliveries, while Faheem Ashraf contributed 31. Scott Kuggeleijn also impressed with the ball for New Zealand, finishing with 3-27.

New Zealand's reply saw Martin Guptill fall early, but fellow opener Tim Seifert led the chase with a well-placed 57 that included a solitary six, as well as six fours.

Glenn Phillips (23) and Mark Chapman – who made 34 from just 20 balls – helped the hosts stay on course for victory, though at 129-5 there was a glimmer of hope for Pakistan.

However, James Neesham and skipper Mitchell Santner – filling in for Kane Williamson – finished unbeaten on 15 and 12 respectively to see their team home with five wickets to spare in the penultimate over.

Williamson will be back to lead the Black Caps when the series continues in Hamilton on Sunday, with the third and final contest staged in Napier on December 22.

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