With the exception of opener Mohammad Rizwan (33), most of the top-order batsmen struggled but experienced Malik (26 not out off 20 balls) and No. 7 Ali (26 not out off 12 balls) developed to 47 runs towards the end. With eight balls left in the sixth wicket partnership, they took Pakistan home.
It was Pakistan’s second consecutive win after a massive 10-wicket win over India on Sunday.
Congratulations! Pakistan did two of the two 🇵🇰🙌👏 #WeHaveWeWill # T20WorldCup https://t.co/WkMfL5QCTYAdvertisement
– Pakistan Cricket (@TheRealPCB) 1635269420000
The New Zealand team, playing in its first match, recently withdrew from a scheduled series against Pakistan after landing there, citing a security threat that, according to the host country, did not exist.
Chasing 135 for the win, captain Babar Azam (9) and Rizwan made a decent start but it was getting tough for them as they chased runs and boundaries.
Azam was not his fluent best compared to his superb unbeaten 68 against India and was bowled out in the sixth over by Tim Southee, who took his 100th wicket in the Twenty20 International.
Pakistan v New Zealand: As it happened
The run was not easy for Pakistan at this stage as they reached 30 for 1 at the end of the power play and one-down Fakhar Zaman (11) was caught in the lbw trap by Ish Sodhir in the ninth over.
Former captain Mohammad Hafeez blew James Neesham in the sixes when Pakistan reached 58 for 2 in the half mark.
But, in the next over, he was bowled by Mitchell Santner and caught by Devon Conway with a stunning diving catch near the boundary rope.
Rizwan, who scored an unbeaten 69 against India, was caught in the lbw by Sodhir in the 12th over before New Zealand returned to the match.
After some relatively quiet overs, Trent Bolt got his first wicket in the 15th over, overtaking Imad Wasim (11). But from there, courtesy of Malik and Asif Ali, Pakistan changed the script of the match.
Pakistan needed 44 runs in the last five overs and Ali came on to score two sixes in a row against Saudi in the 17th over.
Malik hit a six and a four in the next over to give Ali a six and Sharjah sky-high and the winning run – a two – took Pakistan to 135 for 5 in 18.4 overs.
Earlier, Rauf led the bowling attack with four wickets as Pakistan restricted New Zealand to a short collection.
The Kiwis got into all sorts of trouble after opener Daryl Mitchell and Conway top-scored with 26 and skipper Ken Williamson with 25 to invite them to bat in the face of an orderly Pakistani bowling attack.
Mitchell and Martin Guptill (17), their highest-scoring opening pair of 36, did not make a significant partnership for New Zealand.
Shaheen Afridi, Imad Wasim and Mohammad Hafeez took one wicket each for Pakistan.
Afridi, who upset the Indian top-order in Pakistan’s win against India, got the swing in the opening over which was Maiden. But Mitchell hit a four in his second over which resulted in eight runs.
Mitchell then blew Hasan Ali into the six, as New Zealand wanted to take the initiative. But after the ball deviated from the batter’s pad, Rauf uprooted Guptill’s wood and they could not get out of the power play unharmed.
Mitchell had to pay a lot more runs as Fakhar Zaman was caught out by Rashi after hitting a six off Imad’s ball in the ninth over.
New batsman James Neesham could not last long as Hafeez was dismissed for 1 in the next over as New Zealand reached 70 for three at half-time.
The Kiwis put their foot on the gas and in the 12th and 13th overs Williamson hit 25 off Hafeez with a six and a four, even hitting three boundaries in a row to Conway Shadab Khan.
But after Williamson was run out in the 14th over, the Kiwi innings took a turn as Hasan Ali’s great direct throw canceled his own bowling.
New Zealand could only reach 100 at the end of the 15th over and Conway and Glenn Phillips (13) were out in three balls in the 18th over bowled by Rauf.