New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson heaped praises on Pakistan bowlers, saying their clinical show at the death was of the "highest class" in the ICC Men's T20 World Cup 2021 at Sharjah on Tuesday night. (More Cricket News)
Pakistan restricted New Zealand to a modest 134 for eight and then romped home in 18.4 overs to win the Group 2 Super-12 contest by five wickets for their second consecutive victory in the tournament.
Pacer Haris Rauf took four for 22, while spinners Imad Wasim and Shadab Khan contributed in choking the batters in the middle overs.
"Unfortunately, it didn't quite go our way and I suppose if we look at the opposition and how clinical they were at the death and not allowing us to time the ball, they were the highest class and for us, it's trying to take some of those learnings and move forward," said Williamson after losing the match.
"There's a lot to learn from those experiences but at the end of the day, Pakistan were outstanding and they finished the game off beautifully on a very tough surface.
"Their bowlers were outstanding today as they were the other night in their first match (against India), which we expected to be the case. They continued to deliver and they were outstanding in their performance for Pakistan."
Pakistan bowlers were impressive against India on Sunday when pacer Shaheen Afridi rocked the arch-rivals' top order by dismissing Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul upfront.
Williamson, who scored 25 runs before being run out, said the Sharjah track was difficult for batting but Pakistan number seven batter Asif Ali timed the ball with ease.
"It was a tough surface to time the ball on and someone like Shoaib Malik batting through and finishing off with a couple of blows. And Asif Ali who came in and hit the ball beautifully, much sweeter than anybody else on a tricky surface. "
New Zealand might have lost but Williamson had no complaints about the performance of the players, who he said fought their heart outs.
"The guys went out and competed really well and made a lot of good decisions along the way and when you play those low scoring matches on tough surfaces like we did tonight, the game has very small margins, and unfortunately, when it counted, a couple of misses means a lot."
New Zealand will next face India on October 31. The side will be without Lockie Ferguson, who was ruled out of the tournament due to a calf injury.