New Zealand captain, Kane Williamson is happy with his team’s performance against Pakistan in the second T20I on Sunday. The hosts defeated Pakistan by 9 wickets at the Seddon Park in Hamilton.
Shadab Khan, who is the makeshift skipper in place of injured Babar Azam, won the toss and elected to bat first. The move backfired as Pakistan lost three wickets in the powerplay to the swing and seam movement of Tim Southee. Veteran batsman, Mohammad Hafeez held the innings and recorded his highest T20I score of 99 as wickets fell at the other end.
Chasing a below-par total of 164, New Zealand got off to a flyer from Martin Guptill. The opener smashed a quick 11-ball 21 before departing to medium-pacer, Faheem Ashraf. Kane Williamson, who is returning to the side after missing the second Test against West Indies and the first T20I versus Pakistan due to the birth of his child, joined hands with opener, Tim Seifert.
While the Kiwi skipper rotated strike from one end, Seifert played freely and attacked the Pakistani bowlers. Both the right-handers notched their respective half-centuries and completed the chase with 4 balls to spare as Williamson hit the winning runs.
Seifert took the pressure off: Kane Williamson
After the game, Williamson praised Tim Seifert for his 63-ball 84 and admitted that the wicket-keeper didn’t let the pressure pile up with his regular boundaries. The 30-year-old also lauded Tim Southee for his Man of the Match performance as the seamer utilized the helpful conditions.
“Fantastic innings by Seifert there, and a really good effort with the ball. It was a good surface, there was something for the bowlers and you could build partnerships. We were chasing a par total and a couple of wickets would have made it more difficult for us. Seifert was banging it around and took the pressure off,” Kane Williamson said during the post-match presentation ceremony.
Williamson is also satisfied with his sides’ strong outing against a formidable Pakistan unit- which not long ago was on top of the ICC T20I rankings. As the hosts seal the T20I series by winning the first two matches, both sides will meet for the dead rubber on Tuesday in Napier followed by the 2-match Test series commencing with a Boxing Day Test in Mount Maunganui.
“You try to play the role as well as you can, the boys have been playing so beautifully. We know how strong this Pakistan team is. So it’s really satisfying for us to get across the line,” Williamson added.