Cricket: Blackcaps savour Tim Southee's historic heroics in tone-setting win over Pakistan

The Blackcaps hope their victory over Pakistan can set the tone for a big year of Twenty20 cricket, as they look to build towards the World Cup later this year.

They comfortably accounted for Pakistan by 46 runs in Friday's series opener at Auckland's Eden Park, expertly led by Daryl Mitchell and Kane Williamson, and are now out to repeat the dose in game two at Hamilton on Sunday. 

"To put up a score of 220 and back our bowlers to defend, it couldn't have gone any better really," batter Mark Chapman told Newshub.

It couldn't have started any worse, with Devon Conway departing first ball. Finn Allen found some timely form to put the Blackcaps back in control, before Mitchell and Williamson superbly steered the hosts into a commanding position. Both went past 50 to lead the Blackcaps to a strong total of 226.

Mark Chapman catches Pakistan's Haris Rauf to win the first Twenty20 international.
Mark Chapman catches Pakistan's Haris Rauf to win the first Twenty20 international. Photo credit: Getty Images

"We found ways to make the most of trying to pressure them, and I thought the partnerships with Kane and then Glenn Phillips set up the innings really nicely," said Mitchell.

Pakistan showed moments of brilliance in their chase, but the New Zealand bowlers were up to the task, with Tim Southee in the thick of the action and setting records along the way.

Southee became the first player to take 150 T20 wickets, while Ish Sodhi's spectacular catch of Fakhar Zaman put the icing on the cake.

"It's a huge milestone for not only Tim, but for New Zealand cricket too," noted Chapman, who still remembers watching Southee's debut as a schoolboy in Auckland.

"It's an amazing feat and testament to the longevity of Tim and his resilience . In New Zealand, as a bowler, it can be pretty unforgiving at times in this format."

The Blackcaps will hope Southee can keep the wicket count ticking over, as they look to build on last night's performance in the rematch.

"We've got a couple of tough series and hopefully we can really hone our preparation for that World Cup," Chapman added

A series win against Pakistan would be a valuable step towards success in the US and West Indies later this year.

Join Newshub at 7:10pm Sunday for live updates of the Blackcaps v Pakistan second T20