Live updates: Blackcaps vs Pakistan – First Twenty20

Phillips completes the stumping of Sarfraz off Santner's bowling.
Phillips completes the stumping of Sarfraz off Santner's bowling. Photo credit: Photosport

Kia ora and welcome to over-by-over action as the Blackcaps and Pakistan get their T20 series underway in Wellington.

New Zealand hasn't been a happy hunting ground for the tourists as they've dropped every contest to date in convincing fashion. Will today be the day they turn their fortunes around?

We bring you live streaming written commentary, video highlights (be sure to refresh your browser) and all the action.

New Zealand 106/3 (Target 106) - Munro 49, Taylor 22 - New Zealand win by 7 wickets. Check out the highlights here

16th over - Taylor slogs a couple into cow corner then times a lovely cover drive for a hat trick of boundaries. Scores are tied. Taylor leaves one for the keeper to let Munro have a crack at his 50 but the umpire calls a wide, and that will do us!

15th over - Looks to be a steady march to victory now for the Blackcaps. Taylor swings one which looks to be heading over the rope but Umar makes an impressive save to further delay the inevitable.

14th over - Munro goes again! Carbon copy of the previous over as he banks another big six. 20 to win for the hosts now. 

13th over - Nawaz takes the ball for the first time. Munro backs off and cuts one over mid-wicket for four, then proceeds to take a knee and slughter one high over square leg for six to put a nail in this contest's coffin.

12th over - Bit of hope here for Pakistan after breaking that partnership, the run rate climbing to 5.3. Three quickly run singles as Taylor gets off the mark.

11th over - WICKET - Bruce goes deep again but this time not deep enough and he's caught comfortably. Handy innings from the newcomer.

TC Bruce c Fakhar Zaman b Shadab Khan 26 (22b 3x4 1x6) 

9th over - Munro clips a poor ball to the legside boundary. Advances next delivery and lofts it sweet and straight to the fence.

8th over - Hasan keeps the clamps on, conceding just two runs from the over. Munro sweeps deep and flat and the ball bounces just in front of deep square leg. Poor effort by the filder on that occasion, should've done better there. Bruce clobbers one over long on for six then sweep for four, back-to-back boundaries release some pressure.

7th over - Shadab Khan into the attack. Cheeky ramp shot by Bruce but it only garners a run. Big appeal for LBW as Munro misses a reverse sweep. To the third umpire we go...and it's missing the stop of the stumps by some way. 

6th over - Bruce flicks one off his legs for four. Munro sprints through for a single, slides his bat and cops a nasty one flush in the wrist from the Pakistan attempt on the stumps. The medics are out.

5th over - Three singles off the first three as NZ look to apply some pressure on the field. Munro shanks one which just evades the fieldsman's hands. A double to finish in a decent over for the hosts.

4th over - WICKET - Phillips tries to cut one that's too close and chops it straight onto his stumps. This is exactly the start the Pakistanis would've been looking for. New Batsman Bruce gets an inside edge which just misses leg stump. The vistors have their tails up here! Bruce uses his feet nicely and lofts one over mid-wicket for the first NZ boundary.

GD Phillips b Rumman Raees 3 (11b 0x4 0x6) 

3rd over - Phillips plays and misses A great chance here for the newbie to stamp his mark with Williamson absent.

2nd over - WICKET - Guptill goes again and this time he sin't so lucky, caught comfortably at mid-on. Energetic start from Pakistan in the field, as the Kiwis struggle to find the middle of the bat.

MJ Guptill c Mohammad Nawaz b Rumman Raees 2 - (6b 0x4 0x6) 

1st over - Interesting to see how the Blackcaps approach this one - will it be a swing for the fences or a methodical dismantling? Guptill advances and mistimes his shot and a little bit of luck sees it falling just out of the reach of mid-on.

Pakistan 105

Another disappointing effort from Pakistan as they limp to a paltry total. Mitchell Santner is the pick of the NZ bowlers with 2-15 from his four overs, while Babar Azam's 41 earned top score for the visitors. We'll be back shortly for the NZ run chase.

20th over - Munro with the final over duties, bizarrely enough. Babar cashes in early with four, slashing one past point. Sixer! Off that one goes over the long-on boundary. WICKET - Babar can't repeat the heroics and he's caught in the deep to put the Pakistan innings out of its misery. 

Babar Azam c Bruce b Munro 41 - (41b 1x4 1x6) 

19th over - Rance up to bowl the penultimate over. Impressive death bowling by the Central Districts Stag here. WICKET - Another miscue results in a simple catch for Tim Southee.

Mohammad Amir c Southee b Rance 3 - (6b 0x4 0x6)

18th over - And 18 balls remaining. What can the Pakistanis conjure up here? Not a whole lot it appears, as they meander through the Southee over with nothing but a smattering of singles.

17th over - Rance back to help close the innings. Hasan times one off his pads on the half-volley, reads the swing well and dispatches one into the crowd. Two in a row! Hasan gets underneath one and the ball soars into the stands agains. WICKET - Hasan chases a hat-trick of sixes but only succeeds in putting one straight up and down into the hands of the skipper.

Hasan Ali c Southee b Rance 23 - (12b 0x4 3x6)

16th over - Santner back to complete his allotment. Mistimed heaves produce a handful of singles, one falling just short of the filder at long-on. Babar scrambles for two and only just beats the throw from the outfield, the third umpire quick to dismiss the run out appeal.

15th over - Hasan middles a hefty sweep into the stands for the first six of the innings. 10 runs from the Sodhi over as Pakistan look to accelerate. 

14th over - Southee back into the attack. WICKET - Faheem tries to pull off a ball that's far too full and Tom Bruce dives to take an impressive catch and long-on. The rot rolls on.

Faheem Ashraf c Bruce b Southee 7 - (14b 0x4 0x6)

13th over - De Grandhomme applies the shackles as the visitors continue to look to consolidate, the 50 bought up with a mock cheer from the Westpac Stadium faithful.

12th over - Santner conceding nothing but singles. New Zealand have the lowest T20 score by a 'tier one' nation with 60 against Sri Lanka in 2014, is that in danger of being broken?

11th over - Sodhi back into it, bowling beautifully in tandem with fellow spinner Santner. Babar turns one past mid-wicket to become the first Pakistan bastman into double figures. It's been that kind of day so far.

10th over - WICKET - Santner throws up an ankle-breaker! Safraz looks to sweep and instead ends up in a painful-looking splits and Phillips whips off the bails for a simple stumping. WICKET - Phillips to the fore agains, juggling an edge several times before securing the catch. Pakistan in all sorts of trouble. Santner's hat-trick ball is parried away safely.

Sarfraz Ahmed st †Phillips b Santner 9 - (14b 1x4 0x6)

Shadab Khan c †Phillips b Santner 0 - (1b 0x4 0x6)

9th over - Pakistan happy to pick up singles and it seems the Kiwis are just as happy to concede them, the run rate teetering a mere 4.4. Huge swing and a miss to close the over from Babar, Sdohi with the ball on a string.

8th over - Mitchell Santner steps to the popping crease and produces a miserly opening over.

7th over - Ish Sodhi enters the attack. Sarfraz edges just past the outstretched hand of Ross Taylor at first slip and grabs three. Sodhi rips a gem of a wrong 'un and completely baffles Sarfraz. 

6th over - WICKET - Another poor shot and another easy catch, Munro snares another off the bowling off Kitchen and the tourists are reeling.

Haris Sohail c Bruce b Kitchen 9 - (10b 1x4 0x6)

5th over - Colin de Grandhomme into the action with the ball. Haris strokes the shot of the day through the covers for four.

4th over - WICKET - Nawaz mistimes a lofted on-drive and it's straight down the throat of Colin Munro for Southee's second wicket.

Mohammad Nawaz c Munro b Southee 7 - (9b 1x4 0x6)

3rd over - WICKET - Umar sends one into the clouds and Kitchen takes his second of the day, scrambling well to take a tricky chance over his shoulder. Nawaz plays one off his pads to find the boundary for the first time today.

Umar Amin c Kitchen b Rance 0 - (7b 0x4 0x6) 

2nd over - Fakhar skies a thick top edge off Southee's first ball but Glen Philips can't quite replicate the aerial acrobatics of his stunning catch to dismiess Chris Gayle a few weeks back. WICKET - Fakhar spoons an easy catch to Kitchen at mid-off. Dropped! The very next ball is put down by Ross Taylor at first slip, Southee producing some lethal late swing to bamboozle the new batsman Nawaz.

Fakhar Zaman c Kitchen b Southee 3 - (4b 0x4 0x6)

1st over - Seth 'Let's Dance' Rance is handed the ball first. He's hitting what looks to be a hard deck with vigour early, beating the bat twice and extracting some real bounce. Just a single conceded in a fantastic opening over.

3:51pm - Well the sun is out again and the rain has lessened to a drizzle, looks as though we'll be starting as scheduled at 4pm.

3:49pm - Kane Williamson is being rested as a precautionary measure after awaking with a "stiff side" which sees Tim Southee move into the captaincy for the day.

3:46pm - Troublings signs at Westpac Stadium as the covers come out and the rain sweeps in. Stay tuned for more info.

3:35pm – New Zealand have won the toss and opted to bowl first.


New Zealand: Guptill, Munro, Phillips, Bruce, Taylor, Kitchen, De Grandhomme, Santner, Southee, Sodhi, Rance

Pakistan: Amin, Zaman, Babar, Haris Sohail, Sarfraz, Shadab, Faheem, Nawaz, Hasan Ali, Mohammad Amir, Raees

Head to head:

New Zealand - $1.37 South Africa - $2.90

Pre-match banter

Opinion: Henry Nicholls is the real deal

By Ollie Ritchie

For one of the genuine nice guys in the Blackcaps camp, Henry Nicholls has his fair share of people ready to rub his name from every team sheet Mike Hesson and Kane Williamson come up with.

And in all fairness, I wasn't exactly sold on the idea of Nicholls as our number five or six in both the One Day and Test formats through the early stages of his international career.

But this summer, the 26-year-old has proven his doubters (myself included) wrong, repaid the faith Hesson and the New Zealand selectors have shown in him, and solidified his spot in this side.

Remember, Tom Latham's shift down the order to five in ODIs has meant Nicholls, in turn, also had to move down a spot. It doesn't seem like much, but coming in that much later in an inning changes the way you go about playing.

For Nicholls, he's had to learn to play a lot more aggressively, a lot quicker. It's something he's done remarkably, and something he deserves to be praised for.

Sitting on the bank for the final ODI at the Basin Reserve when the Blackcaps lost a flurry of wickets in a short space of time, one punter was heard saying, "It's okay lads, Nicholls is in next." Just last season it would have sounded a lot more like, "Oh sh*t."

While Nicholls missed out that game (remember the situation he came into), throughout both the Pakistan and West Indies series he's continued to prove himself.

Before this home summer got underway, I interviewed Nicholls down at the Basin. He told me he felt like he'd taken his game to a different level. He's certainly proved that was more than just talk.

This summer he's averaged 55 in the ODIs against both the West Indies and Pakistan, and 28 in the Test series against the West Indies.

While he hasn't converted those 50s into any big hundreds, valuable contributions aren't always centuries. Often it's the 30s, 40s and half centuries that truly help the team get to a defendable total. That has been Nicholls to a tee this summer.

You may recall how Nicholls helped push the total above 250 when it looked like they'd fall well short of 200, or boosted them into the 300s to leave their opposition with a mountain of work to do.

Undoubtedly his best this summer was his unbeaten 83 against the West Indies in Christchurch. The knock was critical in enabling the Blackcaps to post a competitive total after they'd been teetering on the verge of collapse.

As we revel in the success of our Blackcaps this summer, few individuals stand out for more for me than Nicholls.