New Zealand v Pakistan T20s

First loss marks crossroads for NZ

A golden summer came to a juddering halt for the Black Caps in the second T20 against Pakistan


26 January 2018, 03:36 PM AEST

The Black Caps say the first chink in their golden summer is the wake-up call they needed.

A 48-run loss to Pakistan at Eden Park on Thursday sets up a decider to the three-match Twenty20 international series in Mount Maunganui on Sunday, delivering the sort of high-stakes fixture that has been missing for two months.

Three series whitewashes of the West Indies, a 5-0 ODI series drubbing of Pakistan followed by a first-up T20 win lifted their winning streak to 13.

That record run was dunked in Auckland by a Pakistan side who were clearly motivated, seamer Ben Wheeler said.

"We were a little bit off our game and they showed how well they can play when they're at the top of their game," Wheeler said.

"They were unreal, it was probably a test of what it's going to be like for the rest of the summer.

"First-up, we've got a decider and hopefully we can win."

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After that is a high-profile T20I tri-series against Australia and England, followed by five ODIs and two Tests against the visiting English.

Wheeler suspects the loss won't make radical mental indents on his Black Caps teammates, who often speak of not riding the emotions of wins or losses.

They were to probably have a "good chat" when they arrive in Tauranga before focusing on the Bay Oval clash.

Top of the strategy discussions will be who to field as opener alongside Martin Guptill after the in-form Colin Munro was ruled out with injury.

Captain Kane Williamson has opened previously in the shortest form and is a likely option unless a pinch-hitter is promoted.

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"Colin picked up a minor injury during the match at Eden Park and with a busy schedule coming up, we want to make sure he gets it right before getting back on the field," said NZ selector Gavin Larsen.

The 30-year-old will be assessed ahead of Monday's naming of a squad to travel to Sydney for the opening tri-series Twenty20 match against Australia.

Munro is the world's top-ranked T20 batsman and had scored 388 in his previous six innings at an average of 97.

Meanwhile, Black Caps allrounder Colin de Grandhomme will return to the Birmingham Bears for another season in England's domestic T20 tournament.

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