New Zealand were unable to restrict Pakistan from surging to 183/6 after the tourists got off to a blistering start reaching 81/1 in the 8th over. A slight middle order collapse then gave way to a latter order revival launched by Umar Akmal (30) and Abdul Razzaq, not out on 34.
Batting first, Pakistan made a confident start with opener Ahmed Shehzad smacking Adam Milne for a four first ball. But Shehzad really got going in the 2nd and 3rd overs when he took two boundaries of Kyle Mills and then three consecutive fours of Milne. Pakistan had raced to 28/0.
His partner Mohammad Hafeez, was a little more circumspect, but joined in the counter-offensive, striking a four in the first ball of the fourth over. The two had a bumper fifth over, when they combined to knock four boundaries of a hapless Tim Southee, thus taking Pakistan to over 50. Hafeez continued the blitz by biffing three more fours of Mills in the 6th over, before carting Southee for a huge six over mid-wicket and taking Pakistan to 76/0 after 7 overs.
A quiet over followed and in the 9th, James Franklin broke the devastating opening stand for 81 when he had Hafeez caught for 34 off 23 balls, by a well-timed leaping catch from Ross Taylor at extra cover. In the 11th over, Franklin accounted for the wicket of Shehzad as well, for 54 off 34 balls, by trapping him in front.
Their departures triggered off a lull in Pakistan's innings as Younis Khan was run out for 5 in the 13th over and in the next, Nathan McCullum had a struggling Asad Shafiq snapped up by Mills at long-off, for 8. The tourists had slumped to 107/4 in 14 overs.
Then Umar Akmla and Shahid Afridi endeavoured to revive the innings, by hitting two sixes and a four between them in the next two overs. But Afridi had played one shot too many when in the 17th over, he was clean bowled by Southee for 14 off 9 balls. Pakistan had stumbled to 136/5 in 17 overs.
Akmal then, kept the momentum up by smashing one boundary each of Mills and Southee, before Abul Razzaq who was dropped by a diving McCullum at midwicket, cut loose with two sixes off Southee. In the process, Pakistan had climbed to 164/5 in 19 overs.
In the dramatic last over, Akmal was out to Mills first ball, departing for a useful 30 off 19 balls, before Razzaq launched a blistering late surge. He hit Milne for a four, then a six, followed by two more fours and rounded off the innings with a leg bye. Pakistan had completed their 20 overs with a mammoth 183/6 on the board.
If New Zealand is to successfully chase down that score, they will have to get off to as steady and forceful a start as Pakistan did. Their middle order will also have to come good as they are up against a big total which will require a couple of blistering cameos and perhaps one more substantial knock to hold the innings together. Pakistan' bowlers will no doubt be looking to effect more accuracy and temper their waywardness. An exciting reply is on the cards.