Twitter reactions: Tim Southee’s stunning 5-fer propels New Zealand to thrilling win over UAE in 1st T20I
New Zealand captain Tim Southee took his second five-wicket haul in T20Is to lead his team to victory over a determined UAE.
The hosts fell 19 runs short of New Zealand's 155-run target, but not before Aryansh Sharma's 60 set up the chase nicely before Southee turned things around. Opener Sharma maintained the UAE ahead of the chase even as New Zealand chipped away at the other end at regular intervals.
Sharma hit nine fours and a six before falling with five overs remaining in the chase and the UAE still needing 40 runs to win.
The lower order was not allowed to wag, and the game was closed up quickly, with Southee taking up two wickets in the final over. It was a complete performance from the skipper, who had also started the innings on the right foot by taking two wickets in his first two overs.
Kyle Jamieson, making his comeback from injury, finished the innings with a single wicket.
Those early strikes proved crucial, as New Zealand was held to a par total despite Tim Seifert's half-century. The opener's knock was the only notable contribution from an otherwise mediocre top-order.
The UAE came within a whisker of limiting New Zealand to a total significantly less than their 155.
However, an undefeated 46-run partnership at the tail end of the innings between Cole McConchie and Rachin Ravindra proved vital, with New Zealand romping home in the opener of the three-match series.
New Zealand 155/6 in 20 overs (Tim Seifert 55; Junaid Siddique 2-35, Basil Hameed 2-30) defeated UAE 136 in 19.4 overs (Aryansh Sharma 60; Tim Southee 5-25) by 19 runs.
Tim Southee's superb five-for-one closes the deal
UAE Emirates fought bravely in response, highlighted by a spectacular effort from Aryansh Sharma, who scored 60 runs off 43 balls, including 9 boundaries and 1 six. The rest of the batting order, on the other hand, failed to maintain continuous momentum.
New Zealand skipper Tim Southee's excellent bowling performance wreaked havoc on the UAE batting lineup, taking 5 wickets for 25 runs in 4 overs. Mitchell Santner and Neesham each took two wickets, adding to New Zealand's strong bowling effort.
Despite Aryansh's valiant efforts, the UAE were bowled out for 136 runs in 19.4 overs, falling short of the mark. The complete bowling effort by New Zealand limited the UAE's chase and achieved a hard-fought victory.