Dubai: After a completion of the 3 match ODI series, which New Zealand won 2-1, the focus now shifts to the 2 Twenty20 international matches, which Pakistan feels they are better placed to win.
World Twenty20 champion Pakistan bounced back from losing the one-day internationals series by thrashing New Zealand by 49 runs in a Twenty20 at Dubai Sports City Stadium on Thursday.
A brilliant 38-ball 58 by opener Imran Nazir to post a healthy 161-8. In reply, the Kiwis were bowled out for 112 with nine balls to spare.
"There was pressure on us because we lost the last two ODIs," captain Shahid Afridi said. "We badly wanted to win this match and I am delighted with the team effort.
Pakistan vs New Zealand, 1st Twenty20 - Scorecard
"When we started, 150 was the target I had in my mind. Of course, when we were more than 100 runs in 12 overs, I thought anything close to 200 was possible. But we would have been happy with 150 because of the quality of the bowling attack we have."
Brendon McCullum, leading the side in the absence of the injured Daniel Vettori, raised hopes by smashing 17 off the first over bowled by Mohammad Aamir.
New Zealand was without skipper Daniel Vettori, who opted to rest after leading his team to a 2-1 win in the ODIs in Abu Dhabi. Vettori was hit on his helmet during the second match, and was expected to undergo a precautionary scan after vomiting a few times after that.
New Zealand's reply started well with 29 runs off the first two overs. But once the left-arm seam combination of Mohammad Aamer and Sohail Tanvir removed openers Martin Guptill (8) and Brendon McCullum (19), New Zealand collapsed.
The Kiwis also lost the services of Aaron Redmond, who pulled his groin muscle while bowling and did not bat.
"In the end, 160 was a good total, but I thought if we bowled a bit better, 130 or 140 would have been ideal for us to chase," McCullum said.
McCullum promised to fight back in the second and last Twenty20 on Friday.