Pakistan beating New Zealand by five wickets in the Tri-Series final
Pakistan beating New Zealand by five wickets in the Tri-Series final in Christchurch, both sides gained some positives from the contest ahead of the T20 World Cup.
Williamson looks back at his fluent best
A lot of chatter ahead of the Tri-Series was the form of New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson. Throughout the series, Williamson has shown glimpses of his class and in the final against Pakistan, Williamson looked back to his best. His knock of 59 came in only 38 deliveries.
The shots flowed and his innings consisted of 4 boundaries and 2 sixes and came at a strike rate of 155.28. Moving into the T20 World Cup in Australia, the promise shown by the Blackcaps captain will be a major boost for them.
Rauf continues to shine
For Pakistan, Haris Rauf was again the star performer with the ball. Rauf scalped up two wickets, including the wicket of Devon Conway and gave away only 22 runs. He bowled 12 dot balls and went at a miserly economy of 5.50. The fire with which Rauf has bowled during the T20I series against England and now in New Zealand will hold the Pakistan bowling attack in good stead.
The return of Shaheen Afridi will only further bolster their ranks and their pace bowling unit is appearing as strong as any heading into Australia.
Middle-order comes good for Pakistan
For Pakistan, the biggest talking point heading into the World Cup has been the scoring rate at which their batting order scores. Concerns have been raised around their middle order, with a heavy reliance on Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan to fire at the top.
In the final against New Zealand, some of these fears were alleviated as Mohammad Nawaz, Haider Ali and Iftikhar Ahmed played aggressive knocks each to get Pakistan over the line. Nawaz scored 38* off 22, Ali scored 31 off 15 and Ahmed struck 25* off 14. The trio hit 6 sixes between them in total and their contributions in the contest will have many Pakistan fans breathing a sigh of relief.