Cricket: Black Caps eye Twenty20 challenge

Tim Southee wants his side to carry their winning momentum from the ODI series into the Twenty20s against Pakistan. Photo / Getty Images
Tim Southee wants his side to carry their winning momentum from the ODI series into the Twenty20s against Pakistan. Photo / Getty Images

In-form bowler Tim Southee believes New Zealand can carry the momentum of a one-day international series win over Pakistan into the Twenty20 series starting in Dubai on Friday morning (NZT).

Captain Daniel Vettori's men came back from losing the first match of the one-day series in Abu Dhabi by 138 runs to record back-to-back successes - by 64 runs and seven runs.

And even though Pakistan have beaten New Zealand in successive World Twenty20 events in 2007 and 2009, Southee believed the one-day result will provide a confidence boost for the Black Caps.

"Pakistan have proved they're a great Twenty20 outfit - they're the world champions - and they've got the wood over us in the last few outings," he said.

"But hopefully we can carry some momentum from the ODIs into the Twenty20 series and continue the form we've shown in the last couple of matches."

That series win almost didn't happen, of course, thanks to the remarkable 10th-wicket stand of 103 between Mohammad Aamer (73 not out) and Saeed Ajmal (33) yesterday.

Southee admitted that while logic said Pakistan should never win the match, there were doubts creeping in before Ajmal was dismissed in the final over.

"With them being nine down it was a question of saying it would only take one ball so we were pretty confident it would happen at some stage," said the 20 year-old who impressed with two for 26 in his 10 over-spell.

"Then again, when it got to within 20 or 30 runs, everyone was a bit nervous and it gave us a bit of a scare.

"If they had been eight down then it might have been a different story but we were only ever one ball away from that last wicket."

Southee has spent the series occupying the same slot as Ajmal, propping up the bating line-up at number 11 despite scoring 77 not out from only 40 balls on test debut against England in Napier in March 2008.

And he is keen to move up the order and realise his potential with the bat as soon as he can.

"I'd love to get as far as I can with my batting," he said

"You look at someone like Daniel Vettori, his batting over the last few years has been outstanding and it just shows you it can be done as he started at 10 or 11 when he was a youngster.

"It's not going to happen overnight and hopefully slowly it progresses.

"It's something I'm willing to work on as I don't want to be batting at number 11 too much longer."

- NZPA

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