(UTV | DUBAI) – A brutal partnership between Shoaib Malik and Asif Ali guided Pakistan to their second Men’s T20 World Cup victory in three days.
After emphatically thrashing rivals India by 10 wickets, Pakistan edged a nervy game against New Zealand to win by five wickets in Sharjah.
Chasing 135, Shoaib and Asif shared 48 to seal success with eight balls left.
New Zealand, playing their first game in Group 2, were restricted to 134-8 with Haris Rauf taking 4-22.
Asif, who twice had medical attention for concussion-like symptoms after top-edging a Tim Southee bouncer into his helmet, made an unbeaten 27 off just 12 balls, including three sixes.
His 23-ball partnership with Shoaib, who made 26 off 20, saw them home and boosted Pakistan’s semi-final hopes, with games against Afghanistan, Namibia and Scotland to come.
Black Caps pace bowler Lockie Ferguson has been ruled out of the tournament with a calf team, and been replaced by Adam Milne in the 15-player squad.