Left-arm pace bowler Shaheen Shah Afridi defended 17 runs in the last over as Pakistan defeated New Zealand by two runs in a thrilling finish to the first T20I in Abu Dhabi.
The visitors needed six off the last delivery to tie the match but experienced batsman Ross Taylor managed just a boundary as the Black Caps – set 149 to win – finished at 146-6.
The victory gave Pakistan their seventh consecutive win since July and 15th in 17 T20Is this year.
Batting first, the home side lost in-form Babar Azam for seven in the third over while Sahibzada Farhan fell for one as they struggled to 10-2 before Mohammad Hafeez (45) and Asif Ali (24) lifted them with a 67-run third wicket stand.
Pakistan managed 81 runs in the last ten overs with skipper Sarfraz Ahmed chipping in with a 26-ball 34 which had three boundaries and a six.
Imad Wasim smashed a six and boundary in the last over to finish with 14 not out while Faheem Ashraf made 10 not out.
The first five overs of New Zealand’s innings was dominated by opener Colin Munro’s 42-ball 58 – in which he hit three sixes and six boundaries.
Munro opened up in style, hitting two sixes and a four off Imad Wasim greeting Hasan with a six and a boundary to bring New Zealand’s fifty in just 5.4 overs.
But Pakistan dismissed Glenn Phillips (12), Munro, captain Kane Williamson (11) and Colin de Grandhomme (6) as New Zealand stuttered to 89-4.
Taylor finished 42 not out off 26 balls, with three boundaries but could not keep the run rate down as New Zealand fell agonisingly short.
The hosts, who are on a roll after whitewashing Australia 3-0 in Dubai on Sunday, hold a 1-0 lead in the three-match series with the last two matches in Dubai on Friday and Sunday.