Opening for the first time in a T20 international, Sarfraz Ahmed made a breezy unbeaten 76 to steer Pakistan to a seven-wicket win over New Zealand at the Dubai International Stadium.
Sarfraz put on 51 with Awais Zia for the first wicket, and an unbroken 43 with Umar Akmal for the fourth wicket, to take Pakistan past their target of 136 with five balls remaining, Akmal ending the contest with a straight six off James Neesham.
Sarfraz had only batted once in his four previous T20 games for Pakistan, at number eight, and he quickly set about showing what a waste of talent that had been, slapping Mitchell McClenaghan to the point boundary and stepping down the track to the debutant fast bowler Matt Henry to sweep him over the fine-leg boundary.
Sarfraz, though, wasn’t letting the wickets disrupt his flow. He immediately crashed Corey Anderson for successive fours, and slogged him for a six over cow corner to bring up his half-century. That over brought Pakistan 17 runs, and brought the equation down to 59 required off 54 balls.