Pakistan started their t20 World Cup campaign with a comfortable 13 run victory over New Zealand at the Pallekele International Cricket Stadium.
The 2009 champions successfully defended their total of 177-6 thanks to an impressive bowling display from Mohammad Hafeez (0-15) who conceded just 15 runs from his four overs as the Kiwis were restricted to a total of 164-9.
Rob Nicol (33) and Brendan McCullum (32) offered some hope but with no large partnerships created New Zealand were always behind the run rate as they lost wickets at regular intervals to slip to defeat.
Having won the toss, Pakistan got off to a great start thanks to Mohammad Hafeez (43) and Imran Nazir (25) who shared an opening stand of 47 before Imran Nazir was dismissed by Tim Southee (2-31) in the 6th over.
Despite the loss Mohammad Hafeez and Nasir Jamshed (56) continued to attack the Kiwis to put Pakistan on top during the first half of their innings.
The pairs 2nd wicket stand of 73 was finally broken by James Franklin (1-7) in the 14th over as the Kiwi’s finally started to slow Pakistan’s rapid progress through the innings.
Kamran Akmal (3) and Nasir Jamshed quickly followed as the Kiwis fought their way back into the match despite a cameo of 23 from Umar Akmal to leave themselves facing a run chase of 178.