New Zealand was able to post a fighting score of 237 runs after suffering an early stutter. The Kiwis all-rounder James Neesham played a gutsy knock of 97 runs to give his team’s bowlers something to bowl at. New Zealand skipper won the toss and decided to bat first at Edgbaston, Birmingham. There were overcast conditions and Williamson was happy to put his batting line-up through the acid test.

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Pakistan bowling openers – Mohammad Amir and Shaheen Afridi were on fire as they breathed down the neck of the New Zealand’s batters. Amir was able to strike on his first ball of the match when Martin Guptill when for the expensive drive but dragged the ball back on to the stumps.

Sarfaraz Ahmed
Shaheen Afridi. Credit: Getty Images

Afridi was on fire.

Subsequently, Shaheen Afridi bowled a spell to remember. The lanky fast bowler was able to hit the right areas and the Kiwis batters had no answers. Colin Munro didn’t bother to move his feet and played a loose shot away from the body to edge the ball to first slip, Harris Sohail. Afridi was able to set up Ross Taylor with beauty and Sarfaraz Ahmed took a one-handed blinder to put paid to his fitness criticism.

Furthermore, Tom Latham nicked off to Sarfaraz Ahmed to leave New Zealand tottering at 46-4. Kane Williamson provided some resistance as the New Zealand skipper scored 41 runs.

Kane Williamson
Photo Credit: Getty Images

New Zealand was able to rebuild.

However, New Zealand suffered a huge blow when Shadab Khan was able to produce the outside edge of the right-hander with Sarfaraz Ahmed taking another good catch.

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Subsequently, the onus was on James Neesham and Colin de Grandhomme to take New Zealand to a fighting score. Both the all-rounders didn’t disappoint as they added more than 100 runs to help their team go past the 200-run mark. Both the batters also brought up their respective fifties.

Here is how Twitter reacted to New Zealand innings: