Pakistan win toss and elect to bowl first against New Zealand


Pakistan captain Shaheen Shah Afridi won the toss and elected to field first in the opening match of the T20I series against New Zealand at Eden Park on Friday.

This match signifies Shaheen’s debut as captain, succeeding Babar Azam. The opening pair includes Rizwan and Saim, with Babar Azam slotting into the middle order. Fakhar, Iftikhar, and Azam Khan will bat at the fourth, fifth, and sixth positions, respectively. Aamir and Usama will take the crease at the seventh and eighth positions.

Ranked fourth globally, Pakistan’s last T20Is were in April 2023 against New Zealand in a five-match series played in Lahore and Rawalpindi.

Wicketkeeper-batsman Mohammad Rizwan, appointed vice-captain under Shaheen, emerged as Pakistan’s leading run-scorer in the previous series, while right-arm pacer Haris Rauf was the most successful bowler.

Playing XI:

Pakistan: Mohammad Rizwan, Saim Ayub, Babar Azam, Fakhar Zaman, Iftikhar Ahmed, Azam Khan (wk), Aamir Jamal, Usama Mir (Debut), Shaheen Afridi ©, Abbas Afridi (Debut), Haris Rauf

New Zealand: Finn Allen, Devon Conway (wk), Kane Williamson ©, Daryl Mitchell, Glenn Phillips, Mark Chapman, Adam Milne, Matthew Henry, Tim Southee, Ish Sodhi, Ben Sears

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