T20 World Cup: New Zealand set 135-run target for Pakistan 

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T20 World Cup: New Zealand set 135-run target for Pakistan 

Sharjah (Web Desk): New Zealand set 135-run target for Pakistan in the T20 World Cup clash at Sharjah Cricket Stadium on Tuesday.

The opening pair, Daryl Mitchell and Martin Guptill, tried to give a strong opening stand to the Black Caps before the pair was broken off when Haris Rauf sent Guptill (17) packing.

Imad Wasim got his retribution as after being hit for a six he removed Daryl Mitchell (27) the very next delivery.

Jimmy Neesham stayed for short at the creases before sent to packing by Mohammad Hafeez. Kane Williamson (25) had to make the long walk back after Hasan Ali’s direct hit found him short of crease.

Devon Conway (27) with his aggressive batting was turning into a potential threat but he was timely removed by Haris Rauf, who also took the wicket of Glenn Phillips.

Earlier, Pakistan won the toss and decided to bowl first against New Zealand in the T20 World Cup clash today at Sharjah Cricket Stadium.

"We are going to bowl first," said skipper Babar Azam at the toss. "We will take early wickets and put pressure on them. The second reason is the dew factor [so the team may want to capitalise on it]," he said.

"We are going to bowl first," said Pakistan Captain Babar Azam at the toss. "We will take early wickets and put pressure on them. The second reason is the dew factor [so the team may want to capitalise on it]," he said. 

New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson said he would like his team to adopt to the circumstances in Sharjah.

On Sunday, Pakistan defeated India by 10 wickets to break their 12-match losing streak against the arch-rivals at the World Cups.

Pakistan holds a historical edge over the Kiwis in T20Is, having won 14 and lost 10 contests between the sides. The last series between the two countries, in December 2020, was won by New Zealand.

The two sides were supposed to play another series in Pakistan as part of their preparation for the T20 World Cup, but the Kiwis suddenly cancelled the series minutes before the scheduled start of the first ODI match in Rawalpindi, citing security threats.

PCB had expressed disappointment over New Zealand’s unilateral decision.

Squads:

Pakistan: Babar Azam (c), Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Fakhar Zaman, Mohammad Hafeez, Shoaib Malik, Asif Ali, Shadab Khan, Imad Wasim, Hasan Ali, Haris Rauf, Shaheen Shah Afridi

New Zealand: Kane Williamson (c), Todd Astle, Trent Boult, Mark Chapman, Devon Conway, Adam Milne, Martin Guptill, Kyle Jamieson, Daryl Mitchell, Jimmy Neesham, Glenn Phillips, Mitchell Santner, Tim Seifert (wk), Ish Sodhi, Tim Southee, Adam Milne (injury cover)