New Zealand qualify for semis
MOHALI, India (AP):
New Zealand stormed into the semi-finals of the World Twenty20 with a 22-run win over former champions Pakistan yesterday, their third successive victory in Group Two.
Martin Guptill scored 80 off 48 balls with 10 fours and three sixes in New Zealand's total of 180-5 and also took three catches as Pakistan failed to build on Sharjeel Khan's blistering start, finishing on 158-5.
Pakistan never got their momentum back after Khan hit 47 off 25 balls with nine fours and a six in an opening stand of 65. He was dismissed in the sixth over, caught by Guptill.
Fast bowler Adam Milne (2-26) and left-arm spinner Martin Santner (2-29) led the New Zealand recovery with two wickets each and put Pakistan on the brink of a tournament exit.
"On the back of Martin Guptill's superb knock, the batting unit played their roles truly nicely to get to us to a very good total," New Zealand captain Kane Williamson said.
"It was nice to see, in the second innings, our bowlers kept their composure after a tough start and pulled it back nicely."
New Zealand have already beaten tournament favourites India and Australia, while 2009 champions Pakistan have just two points from their victory over Bangladesh after also losing to India.
Pakistan, notorious to slip in run-chases, scored nearly half of the required runs in the first 10 overs before their batsmen let the game slip away.
Ahmed Shehzad (30), Umar Akmal (24) and captain Shahid Afridi (19), who was dropped off the first ball, couldn't build any real momentum as New Zealand kept taking wickets in reply.
Pakistan also missed the experience of Mohammad Hafeez, who was ruled out of the match due to pain in his right knee. Hafeez's replacement, Khalid Latif, playing his first T20 international after almost four years, looked out of sorts in his brief stay before holing out in the deep after scoring only three runs.
"It was a chaseable total, we played well in the first six overs. But after that, instead of building partnerships, we played too many dot balls," Afridi said.
"Maybe I will play my last game of the career (against Australia) and we should focus on it."