New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson believes that there were a lot of positives to gain despite their defeat in the first T20 International against Pakistan on Wednesday (October 31) in Abu Dhabi.
In the series opener of the three-match T20I series, the Black Caps bowlers have done a brilliant job by dismissing the Men in Green at 148 and even their fielding was also fantastic, as Mohammad Hafeez’s 36-ball 45 and Sarfraz Ahmed’s 26-ball 34 were the only batsmen to cross the 30 runs mark here.
Chasing the target 149, New Zealand were favorites to hunt it down with Colin Munro hammering a 42-ball 58 but after his dismissal, the touring side was reduced to 89/4 in Abu Dhabi.
However, Ross Taylor kept up the fight here but could not win the match for New Zealand, as they needed six off the final ball and he managed just four, off Shaheen Shah Afridi, and eventually, Pakistan went on to win a thriller by two runs.
Williamson told reporters at the post-match conference, “You could look at heaps of different parts to the game, whether that was bat or ball. There were a lot of positives to take out of it and we've seen in T20 cricket over here how clinical Pakistan are. It just means refining little bits of your game and it can make all the difference.”
He also lauded Munro for his brilliance to bat at the tricky Abu Dhabi pitch. The skipper also believes that Pakistan deserved to win the T20I here. Kane added, “Colin [Munro] played beautifully and got a few away, and gave us a really good power play. Then, in those middle phases, spin over here can be quite challenging and you do have to soak up those dot balls. It was a good game of cricket. Pakistan deserved to win, but we need to learn and move on quickly.”
Meanwhile, Munro lavished praise on Pakistan bowlers and credited them for the victory. He added, “I lost my wicket and then Kane got out, sort of like a bang-bang, and after the Power play, their spinners came on and squeezed. You've got to give them credit. They bowled really well, they know these conditions really well and it suited them a little bit tonight, and we just got outplayed, I reckon.”
He signed off by saying, “It was a pretty even game and we didn't really lose our way anywhere, I don't think. They just bowled really well, and we just couldn't capitalize through the middle there.”
(Input: International Cricket Council)