Blackcaps v Pakistan: NZ's Jacob Duffy inspired by dream international debut

Blackcaps seamer Jacob Duffy was still pinching himself, after his dream international debut in the first Twenty20 against Pakistan at Eden Park on Friday night.

The 26-year-old played a critical hand in New Zealand's five-wicket win, snaring 4-33 to cripple the tourists' batting effort - at one stage sitting on a hat-trick - in a performance that earned him Player of the Match honours.

If his heroics with the ball weren't enough, he also came inches from completing one of the most show-stopping catches in NZ cricket history, soaring to reel in a one-handed grab at full extension but unable to prevent himself grazing the boundary rope up on landing.

Proudly representing the quaint Southland town of Lumsden, Duffy insists the experience has galvanised his belief in his abilities as a cricketer.

"It's amazing how many people reach out when you get a call-up, especially when you're from a small community like Southland," Duffy says.

"It's pretty exciting for a small community. I've really enjoyed growing up there and people were really happy for me.

"You just have to play it like any other game. I've played with these boys in domestic cricket, and the good thing is you realise you're not too far away from the international level."

Although Duffy will play no part in the final two games due to the imminent return of Tim Southee Trent Boult and Kyle Jamieson, he insists he'll take plenty away from both his week in camp, particularly a healthy dose of inspiration after some testing years.

"I think you just have to keep doing what you've been doing to get here," he says.

"I've got a particular brand of cricket I like to play, things that have worked for me. I wanted to stick to my guns, and hopefully my best is good enough to get the job done.

"I've had a few ups and downs in my career. I went through an action remodel a few years ago. I used to just fall away and wasn't swinging the ball anymore, and was a little bit inaccurate. I missed cricket one summer but that was a massive turning point in my career.

"The bowling stocks in New Zealand cricket are probably the best they've ever been. I just get the chance to spend some time learning off them, and it's been great for me. The lads have been awesome and made me feel comfortable above and beyond."

On the other side of the fence, Pakistan captain Shadab Khan pointed at the loss of early wickets during the powerplay as the biggest factor in his side's defeat.

At one stage, Pakistan had lost four wickets for just 20 runs that - despite a late blitz - put the brakes on the innings before it had ever really started.

"If we lose the first powerplay it's difficult to come back," Shadab notes. 

"We did exceptionally well to get to where we did. But if you get into that position it is difficult to come back. We were a bit rusty, and the conditions here are different to Pakistan. They are young players who will learn quick."

"It was great to play in front of a crowd for the first time in a while. We were very happy and we will hope we make the crowd happy next time.

The series now moves to Hamilton's Seddon Park for the second T20 on Sunday.

Join us at 7pm Sunday for live updates of the second Blackcaps v Pakistan T20 match