PAK vs NZ: Haris Rauf reacts after registering his best figures in T20I cricket

He troubled the New Zealand batters with his express pace during the first T20I

By Web Desk
April 15, 2023
Pakistan beat New Zealand by 88 runs in the first T20I on Friday - PCB

Pakistan pacer Haris Rauf has opened up after registering his best figures in T20I cricket against New Zealand on Friday in Lahore. 

The right-armer claimed figures of 4-18 in 3.3 overs as Pakistan eased past New Zealand by 88 runs

Chasing a target of 183 runs, New Zealand were bundled out for only 94 runs in 15.3 overs.

"It was important to put up this performance because I was playing after a long time for Pakistan. On this pitch, I tried to bowl stump-to-stump. If you start well, like Shaheen and Zaman gave today, you gain a lot of confidence. Your role gets defined a lot more when you have such a good bowling attack," Rauf said after bagging the award for Player of the Match. 

"All my wickets were good," chuckled Rauf when asked which of his wickets was the best.

Meanwhile, captain Babar Azam said that it is an honour to represent his country after becoming the third player from Pakistan to feature in 100 T20I matches.

"I had never expected this. I still remember the journey of starting off here as a ball-boy on the side-lines, and to now be here, it is a huge honour," Azam said. 

He also lauded youngster Saim Ayub, who scored 47 runs in only 28 balls and added 79 crucial runs for the third wicket with Fakhar Zaman.  

"It was a team effort. Two wickets fell early but then Fakhar and Saim built the innings. The more you appreciate Saim, it is less. He is learning and dominating. Good luck to him for the future and I hope he can continue this," he said. 

"The pitch was assisting the bowlers so it was a good batting performance. We had a complete bowling unit and the way Shaheen and Zaman started, Haris bowled and the way our spinners bowled was excellent. Always helps to have more bowling options," he added. 

The second match of the T20I series will be played at the same venue on April 15. 

Pakistan and New Zealand will also meet in five one-day internationals after the T20 series, honing preparations for this year´s 50-over World Cup in India.

Eight Kiwis are missing because of the Indian Premier League (IPL) and skipper Kane Williamson has a bad knee injury, leaving the captaincy to batsman Tom Latham.