WATCH: Saim Ayub scores blistering 27 off 8 in first T20I against New Zealand

The left-handed batter was run out after Adam Milne’s brilliant direct-hit

By Web Desk
January 12, 2024
Saim Ayub playing his trademark "no look" shot for a six. — Screengrab

Saim Ayub announced himself to the world in his own way during the first T20I between Pakistan and New Zealand to provide the Green Shirts a dream start in their chase of a 227-run target at Eden Gardens, Auckland, on Friday.

Ayub, 21, who played his ninth T20I for the Men in Green, started Pakistan’s chase with a first-ball four to Tim Southee.

The 21-year-old showcased his attacking intent from the first ball and continued his charge against the experienced Southee, who ended his first over while conceding 12 runs.

Saim’s bat kept on breathing fire as the left-handed batter started taking Matt Henry to the cleaners in the second over. He also hit his trademark “no-look” six to the right-armer in the second over.

The 21-year-old’s innings ended in an unlucky way as he was run out by Adam Milne’s direct hit.

Watch Saim Ayub’s rapid innings here:

Saim also became the Pakistani player to have scored runs minimum of 25 runs with the highest strike rate as the left-handed batter played with a rapid 337.5 strike rate.

By the time this story was filed, Pakistan was batting at 90-2 in eight overs with Babar Azam (22) and Fakhar Zaman (15) on the crease.

Earlier, Daryl Mitchell and Kane Williamson were New Zealand’s best performers with the bat as the two scored 57 and 61 runs respectively.

Williamson was given a life at 11 as he was dropped by Babar Azam, the Kiwi skipper took full advantage of the chance and ended up scoring a fantastic half-century.

Although the 33-year-old didn’t play with a remarkable strike rate (135.71), he did manage to provide room for other players like Finn Allen (35 off 15) and Mitchell (61 off 27) who breathe fire with their bat and scored runs with the strike rates of 233 and 255 respectively.

All of Pakistan’s bowlers were taken to the cleaners, with just Abbas Afridi and Haris Rauf bowling with a decent economy of 8.50 each.

Skipper Shaheen Afridi, who provided an excellent start with a wicket in the first over, failed to capitalise on that and ended up conceding 46 runs while taking three wickets.

Aamer Jamal conceded 56 while Usama Mir was bashed for 51 runs in four overs.