Dubai, Aug 18: A half-century by Tim Seifert and a scorching five-wicket haul by pacer Tim Southee helped New Zealand clinch a hard-fought, narrow win against United Arab Emirates (UAE) in the first match of the three-match T20I series in Dubai on Thursday.
With this win, NZ has a 1-0 lead over UAE, who fought really hard to push NZ to their limits.
Put to bat first by UAE, NZ lost opener Chad Bowes on the very first ball.
From that point, Seifert and wicketkeeper-batter Dane Cleaver started to rebuild the innings, with Seifert doing the majority of the attacking.
However, at the end of the powerplay in six overs, Kiwis lost Cleaver for just four runs. NZ was 51/2 in six overs.
Seifert brought up his half-century in 30 balls, with two fours and three sixes.
Basil Hameed put an end to Seifert's innings at 55 in 34 balls, with help of a catch from Aayan Afzal Khan. NZ was 60/3 in 7.1 overs.
At the end of 10 overs, Kiwis were 73/4, with Chapman (8*) and Jimmy Neesham (3*) unbeaten. They looked in real trouble after losing Mitchell Santner (2) and Mark Chapman (15) quickly. Kiwis sunk to 85/5 in 12.1 overs. Basil getting Seifert and Santner quickly changed the game for Kiwis.
However, Neesham and Cole McConchie continued to put up a fight, reaching the 100-run mark in 14 overs.
Junaid Siddique broke their short 24-run stand, dismissing Neesham for 25 off 22 balls. NZ was 109/6 in 15.2 overs.
A quick 46-run partnership between McConchie (31* in 24 balls with one four) and Rachin Ravindra (21* in 11 balls with one four and a six) helped Kiwis end their innings beyond the 150-run mark at 155/6 in 20 overs.
Basil (2/30) and Junaid (2/35) produced fantastic spells to reduce a dangerous Kiwi side to a modest total. Zahoor Khan, Mohammed Faraazuddin got one wicket each.
In the chase of 156, Southee trapped UAE skipper Muhammad Waseem lbw on the very first ball of the innings and later dismissed Vriitya Aravind (13), reducing the hosts to 15/2 in 2.4 overs.
The duo of Aryansh Sharma, the wicketkeeper-batter and Asif Khan helped UAE sail through the powerplay and reach the 50-run mark in 5.4 overs.
Their 47-run partnership was broken by Santner, who caught and bowled Asif for 13. UAE was 62/3 in seven overs.
Halfway through the innings, UAE was at 84/4, with Aryansh (43*) and Ansh Tandon (12*) unbeaten.
Aryansh reached his fifty in 34 balls, consisting of seven fours and a six.
UAE's inexperience was again exposed as they fumbled the match from a comfortable position, losing quick wickets to Southee, Santner and Neesham. UAE reached the 100-run mark in 12.4 overs at a loss of four wickets but wickets started falling from that point. The dismissal for Aryansh for 60 off 43 balls with nine fours and a six sunk UAE to 115/6 in 15 overs, needing 41 in final fours overs.
Despite some fight by the lower order, particularly, Ali Naseer (16), UAE was bundled out for 136 in 19.4 overs and lost by 19 runs.
Southee picked up five scalps for 25 runs in four overs, Neesham and Santner picked up two while a returning Kyle Jamieson got one wicket for 20 runs in 2.4 overs.
Southee bagged the 'Player of the Match' award for his performance.