New Zealand seeking redemption against Pakistan


New Zealand will have to show big character to bounce back in Hamilton on Sunday after losing the opening match of their Twenty20 series against Pakistan in Auckland.

The home side fell 17 runs short of Pakistan's 171 in the first of three T20s on Friday, despite big knocks from Kane Williamson (70) and Colin Munro (56).

Tremendous team bowling from the tourists made life difficult for the rest of the batting order as Wahab Riaz (3-34), captain Shahid Afridi (2-26) and Umar Gul (2-38) combined beautifully to seal the win in what was Mohammad Amir's (1-31) comeback game from a five-year spot fixing suspension.

Pakistan were quick out the blocks on Friday, notching 50 in just 5.6 overs as opener Mohammad Hafeez smashed 61 off 47 balls and a similar opening would put the tourists in good stead once again.

The difference between the two sides came in the middle order, and New Zealand will want to see massive improvement from the likes of Corey Anderson, Luke Ronchi and Mitchell Santner who were all bowled for ducks.

Martin Guptill will also want to redeem himself after a disappointing opening stand of two runs.

But that will prove easier said than done against Pakistan's quality pace attack, which Afridi will hope is set to get even better as Amir continues to find his feet at the international level.

Amir had a tough time of it as he was booed by the New Zealand crowd on Friday and will have to continue to block out the poor reception as he looks to rebuild his reputation in the world of cricket.

Pakistan can seal the series win with victory on Sunday.