A blistering innings from Imran Nazir helped Pakistan book their place in the World Twenty20 final after a six-wicket victory over New Zealand here at Newlands on Saturday.
The opener smashed 59 from 41 balls, ably assisted by partner Mohammad Hafeez (32), chasing a target of 144.
A middle order collapse had cost New Zealand vital runs after a promising start, Ross Taylor top-scoring with 37. Umar Gul (3-15) was the pick of the bowlers, with good support from debutant Fawad Alam (2-24) and Shahid Afridi (1-24).
Captain Shoaib Malik fittingly hit the winning runs with seven balls remaining, sparking celebrations among the players and new coach Geoff Lawson.
The scenes were in total contrast from the World Cup, a campaign completely overshadowed by the death of former coach Bob Woolmer and early exit in the group stages.
New Zealand captain Daniel Vettori opted to bat first after winning the toss, hoping to set Pakistan an imposing target. But a combination of poor batting and excellent bowling restricted New Zealand to 143-8 from their 20 overs.
The Black Caps made a solid start through openers Lou Vincent (28) and Brendon McCullum, in spite of a 15-minute interruption for rain.
But it was Alam, in the side for Salman Butt, who made the vital breakthrough in his first appearance of the tournament. The left-arm spinner took a fine one-handed return catch to send Vincent back to the bus shelter.
And New Zealand�s hopes of a counter-attack in the final 10 overs were thwarted when they lost five wickets for just 33 runs.
Late hitting from Taylor, who took 17 off Mohammad Asif�s final over, helped the Black Caps to a defendable total. But a blistering start from the Pakistan openers saw the pair register a partnership of 60 before Hafeez was adjudged lbw sweeping Scott Styris in the eighth over.
Nazir continued his onslaught, smashing five sixes in his innings, before he too was trapped in front by Jeetan Patel in the 13th over.
The Pakistan middle order had a slight wobble when Vettori dismissed Younis Khan (4) and Shane Bond accounted for Afridi (6).
But Misbah-ul-Haq (16 not out) and captain Malik (26 not out) settled the nerves, the latter hitting Patel for a massive six over mid-wicket to secure the win.
New Zealand won toss
L Vincent c & b Fawad 28
�B B McCullum lbw b Afridi 26
S B Styris c Sohail b Umar 18
P G Fulton c Shoaib b Umar 10
R L Taylor not out 37
C D McMillan c Younis b Fawad 12
J D P Oram c Kamran b Umar 1
*D L Vettori run out (Afridi/Hafeez) 0
S E Bond run out (Fawad/Kamran) 5
J S Patel not out 0
Extras (lb1, w3, nb2) 6
Total (8 wkts, 20 overs) 143
Did not bat: M R Gillespie
Fall: 1-50, 2-74, 3-85, 4-87, 5-104, 6-106, 7-107, 8-126
Bowling: Mohammad Asif 4-0-34-0; Sohail Tanvir 4-0-30-0 (2nb, 1w); Shahid Afridi 4-0-24-1 (2w); Fawad Alam 3-0-29-2; Umar Gul 4-0-15-3; Mohammad Hafeez 1-0-10-0
Mohammad Hafeez lbw b Styris 32
Imran Nazir lbw b Patel 59
Younis Khan c McCullum b Vettori 4
*Shoaib Malik not out 26
Shahid Afridi c Fulton b Bond 6
Misbah-ul-Haq not out 16
Extras (lb2, w2) 4
Total (4 wkts, 18.5 overs) 147
Did not bat: Fawad Alam, �Kamran Akmal, Sohail Tanvir, Umar Gul, Mohammad Asif
Fall: 1-60, 2-96, 3-104, 4-111
Bowling: Bond 4-0-33-1 (1w); Gillespie 3-0-30-0 (1w); Vettori 4-0-22-1; Styris 3-0-14-1; Patel 3.5-0-31-1; Oram 1-0-15-0
Result: Pakistan won by 6 wickets
Series: Pakistan advances to final
Man of the Match: Umar Gul
Umpires: D J Harper (Australia) and S J A Taufel (Australia). TV umpire: I L Howell. Match referee: M J Procter
Source:Cricket NewsMore on:Daniel Vettori, Fawad Alam, Imran Nazir, Misbah ul Haq, New Zealand, Pakistan, Shahid Afridi, Shoaib Malik, Twenty20 World Cup, Umar Gul
Thank you for reading this post. You can now Leave A Comment (0) or Leave A Trackback.
Post InfoThis entry was posted on Sunday, September 23rd, 2007 and is filed under General, Cricket.
Previous Post: Misbah all set to regain Test team berth »
Next Post: India overwhelm Australia to enter final »
Read MoreRelated Reading:
- Batting giants prepare for final onslaught
- Gayle Apologises To West Indies Fans
- Australia snatch win in final-ball thriller
- Lawson’s Future
- Zimbabwe pull out of World Twenty20
- Frustrated Watson Lashes Out
- England Remain Unchanged
- Dhoni Leads From the Front
- ODI Tons In 60 Deliveries Or Less
- Mercurial Pakistan continue to confound