Tim Southee became the first player in Twenty20 international history with 150 wickets as New Zealand defeated Pakistan by 46 runs in the series opener in Auckland on Friday.
Southee, a veteran seam bowler, collected four wickets to reach the milestone and help dismiss the visitors for 180 in the 18th over in response to New Zealand’s imposing 226-8, delivering them the series’ first blood.
Southee’s efforts of 4-25 in a run-dominated match at Eden Park pushed him to 151 wickets in T20 internationals, 11 more than Bangladesh spinner Shakib Al Hasan.
He completed the job as Pakistan’s run chase imploded when Babar Azam was the seventh wicket to go in the 17th over, despite the former skipper accelerating to 57 off 35 balls to keep his team in contention.
Opening batsmen Saim Ayub (27) and Mohammad Rizwan (25) made their debuts, but Azam failed to get help from his colleagues before being caught at cover by Kane Williamson off Ben Sears’ bowling.
New Zealand’s boundary-laden innings surpassed the 221-3 England scored in Karachi in 2022 as the most Pakistan had permitted in a T20.
Daryl Mitchell hit 61 off 27 balls and skipper Williamson hit 57 off 42 balls as New Zealand capitalized on an explosive start from opener Finn Allen (34), who hit 24 runs off Pakistan captain Shaheen Shah Afridi’s third over.
Pakistan’s new-look assault failed to defend the typically small boundaries of the stadium, surrendering 21 fours and 11 sixes.
Seamer Abbas Afridi excelled with 3-34 from four overs in his maiden international outing in any format, but fellow debutant Usama Mir had his leg spin hammered by Mitchell in particular and concluded with 0-51.
Shaheen, who took 3-46, led Pakistan for the first time since Babar relinquished the leadership after their failure to reach the 50-over Cricket World Cup semi-finals last year.
Mitchell Santner, a spin-bowling allrounder from New Zealand, was not picked after testing positive for Covid-19 earlier in the day.