It made for an exciting viewing when New Zealand captain Kane Williamson launched Pakistan off-spinner Mohammad Hafeez for a one-handed six when the two clashed on Tuesday evening in Sharjah for their Super 12 encounter.
This shot came in the 12th over of New Zealand’s innings, Kane Williamson was looking to up the ante after Pakistan bowlers had dominated for the most part of the innings.
After he had hit a boundary on the fourth ball to Hafeez, Kane Williamson skipped down the track but was outdone by the off-spinner in the air – he wasn’t close to the pitch of the ball but went with his shot anyway.
The Kiwi skipper didn’t hit the ball from the middle as his bottom hand came off the handle. The ball went high up in the air, keeping the long-on fielder interested, but it had enough power to carry a few yards over the fielder.
Haris Rauf picks 4 and restricts New Zealand to 134
After being asked to bat first, New Zealand started slowly with occasional boundaries as Shaheed Afridi and Imad Wasim bowled tight overs. Daryl Mitchell and Marin Guptill then upped the ante taking 15 runs from Hasan Ali in the fifth over before Guptill was bowled by Haris Rauf. New Zealand ended the powerplay at 42/1.
Pakistan tightened screws after that with the wickets of Mitchell, who fell to Imad Wasim, and James Neesham, accounted for by Mohammad Hafeez, in quick succession as Kane Williamson took his time to get going.
After a couple of quiet overs, Williamson went after Hafeez, smacking the spinner for a four and a six and Devon Conway storoked three consecutive fours to Shadab Khan.
The acceleration was halted by a direct hit from Hasan Ali which caught Williamson short of his crease. With pressure building up, the Kiwi batters tried to play big shots, but Haris Rauf plucked three wickets in the death overs, restricting the opposition to a below-par 134.