New Zealand bowler Scott Kuggeleijn in action on Friday. He picked up three wickets against Pakistan during their 1st T20I at Auckland. AUCKLAND: New Zealand defeated Pakistan by five wickets in the first Twenty20 international at Auckland’s Eden Park on Friday. The Black Caps ended on 156 for five with seven balls to spare after losing the toss and being set a target of 154. Tim Seifert top-scored for the hosts with 57, while debutant paceman Jacob Duffy took four for 33. Duffy was also named the man of the match. Pakistan never recovered from a slow start, despite a fighting 42 from stand-in captain Shadab Khan. Haris Rauf was the tourists’ best bowler, taking three for 29 Pakistan, after winning the toss and opting to bat first, had managed to reach 153 runs for the loss of 9 wickets. Pakistan’s innings got off to a shaky start as the hosts lost four wickets – Abdullah Shafique, Haider Ali, Muhammad Hafeez and Muhammad Rizwan – in the first five overs with just 20 runs on the board. Shadab, who is leading the side after Babar’s injury, gave some stability and anchored the innings, scoring 42 from 32 balls before being dismissed by Duffy. Pakistan had a rocky preparation for the match when 10 of their touring party tested positive to Covid-19 during quarantine after arriving in New Zealand. Players also received a rebuke from local health authorities for flouting social distancing rules, and were unable to train until they were allowed out of their hotel on December 8. Shadab said it was a relief to finally be playing. “It looks a very good pitch, we want to put a score on,” he said, eyeing Eden Park’s short boundaries. Pakistan are missing regular captain Babar Azam, who fractured a thumb in training last week. The Black Caps are also without regular captain Kane Williamson, absent after the birth of his first child. Replacement Mitchell Santner said his side wanted to build on the recent 2-0 T20 series win over the West Indies against a talented Pakistan team. “We know they’re a quality side but we’re up for a challenge and I think we’re ready,” he said. The Black Caps are also without injured fast bowler Lockie Ferguson, man of the series against the West Indies, and veteran batsman Ross Taylor, who was dropped after struggling for form in T20s. Paceman Jacob Duffy makes his debut. Pakistan are fourth in the world T20 rankings and New Zealand are sixth.