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Pakistan overcome fighting New Zealand

Published Sep 23, 2012 02:24pm


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Kamran Akmal (R) successfully runs out New Zealand captain Ross Taylor (L). -Photo by AFP

PALLEKELE: Off-spinner Saeed Ajmal took four wickets as Pakistan kept their nerve to pull off an exciting 13-run win over New Zealand in the World Twenty20 group D match on Sunday.

                                                   AS IT HAPPENED | IN PICTURES

Ajmal took 4-30, his fourth four-wicket haul in Twenty20 cricket, as Pakistan restricted New Zealand to 164-9 after setting them a daunting 178-run target on the back of a brilliant career best 56 by Nasir Jamshed at Pallekele stadium.

New Zealand gave Pakistan a scare in the final five overs when they needed an improbable 70 runs, with captain Ross Taylor hitting three boundaries off Umar Gul's penultimate over before he was run out for an 11-ball 26.

Ajmal was the difference between the two sides as Pakistan unleashed its spinners, while Kiwi opener Rob Nicol (33) and Brendon McCullum (32) made major contributions to the New Zealander's reply.

Despite the loss New Zealand qualified for the Super Eights round on superior net run-rate. Pakistan play Bangladesh on Tuesday to decide who joins New Zealand in the next round.

Brendon McCullum, who made the highest T20 score of 123 in his team's 59-run win over Bangladesh, hit four boundaries and a six but was finally bowled in the 16th over by Gul to almost end New Zealand's hopes.

Pakistan captain Mohammad Hafeez said he was confident his bowlers could deliver victory.

“I was confident that my varied bowling will defend the total and Ajmal was once again outstanding,” said Hafeez. “Once we got Brendon out we were sure of the win and even the runs in the penultimate over didn't disturb us.”

Taylor was critical of his team's fielding.

“We leaked quite a few runs and at one point I thought we would be chasing a 200 run target, but we pulled them back,” said Taylor.

Earlier Jamshed made a 35-ball 56 and added 76 for the second wicket with Hafeez (43).

Jamshed hit two boundaries and four sixes as Pakistan plundered 92 off the first ten overs. Hafeez hit two fours and two sixes off 38 balls.

Imran Nazir made 25 with five boundaries.

Jamshed was aggressive from the start, smashing paceman Adam Milne for a six before hitting two off spinner Nathan McCullum in successive overs. He reached his maiden fifty off just 27 balls, improving on his previous best of 45 he made against Australia in Dubai last month.

New Zealand reined them in in the middle overs, claiming three wickets for just 11 runs including that of Jamshed caught in the outfield off Daniel Vettori.

Umar Akmal scored 23 with three boundaries and a six.

New Zealand were uncharacteristically sloppy in the field, with Taylor dropping Hafeez on nought in Kyle Mills's first over while Nicol failed to hold on to a head-high Jamshed hook off the same bowler which went for six.


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Comments (20) Closed

khan Sep 23, 2012 06:39pm
atleast he did much better than afridi, who is no more good for anything.
AHMAD ALAM Sep 23, 2012 09:49pm
the team combination is good but the fast bowler hav try more to back in position they should have strategy for every batsman
Zaffar Sep 23, 2012 07:39pm
Tanveer should be rested and bring in Razaak.Its a shame that we don
Morad 786 Sep 24, 2012 05:38am
Pak made a meal of that match in particular in the Middle Overs. Great Talent but Poor Execution! We should have won relatively easy! I think Pakistan needs to get off the high horse that "
Ali Sep 23, 2012 05:30pm
Still the middle order could do better. Umer Akmal is useless and can not score. We need a hitter so we can pile runs.
Afzal Khan Sep 23, 2012 09:31pm
Well done congratulation team Pakistan on your very important win over Newzeland keep up the good job hope you will win the twenty20 cup.
Rizwan Hamid USA Sep 25, 2012 03:54am
Agree 100%. Umar's performance is falling like a lead ball, and recent statistics prove it. We cannot risk him coming back in form in time. His confidence is too low. Better bring in a replacement now to give the guy some match practice. Consistent problem with Pakistan. They stick with the big names and ignore current form.
Pakistani Sep 24, 2012 04:33pm
Great start by Pakistan to world cup campaign, keep it up boys...You're there to make a difference and we know you will....we will support you all the way!
sunny Sep 23, 2012 10:47pm
I'm not sure how often you watch cricket. But if i recall, Umer Akaml is always helped Pakistan to win. Today, once again he did well for the time being he was on the crease. He is great on field. simply, Umer Akmal is the best.
N M Sep 24, 2012 12:54pm
Right, this was a good win, kiwi's faulted a bit here and there, but all said and done so did Pak team. So going forward Mr Hafeez needs to take note: fast ballers are not balling with a stratgey ??? and with very little variation, specially the left arm pitching on the right....sitting duck for big shots. Second we need some creative pinch hitters at the please get Razzaq back know who would have to go !!! Every Match would have to be taken as a mercy, no release !!! Good luck !!!
Mohsin Sep 24, 2012 10:02am
Dear Mr.Khan...u r forgetting the precious 12 runs from afridi which become cruical at the end and also a much needed breakthrough when kiwis were flying at 8.5 runs per over...dont be so biased when commenting on public forum
Merchant Iqbal Sep 23, 2012 07:13pm
I think Pakistan still need Shafiq in batting. As wrote earlier we can not depend upon our fast bowlers.Our bowling coach has to work on our fast bowlers.We should include Sami in place of Tanveer and Razzak I place of Yaseer.We should also give a chance to Shafiq in next game.There is a lot of improvement needed to be champion.Wish Paki all good luck.
Muhammad Zeeshan Sep 23, 2012 07:43pm
Congratulations Pakistan. I do believe that we were very weak in Fast Bowling. If not true then at least they were not bowling with a plan and their direction was totally off line. I suggest that either Tanveer or Yasir could be dropped. Razzak should be included in the team. I would say bring abdur rehman.
Qas Sep 24, 2012 08:40am
Umar Akmal is a great fielder. 50 catches in 40 matches.
Rizman Sep 24, 2012 02:30am
drop umer aklam bring asad or pak will lose in semi final
Fen Tian Sep 23, 2012 04:56pm
England are weak against spinners ,if you have Abdul razzaq in team ,use your all best spinners against them.No point in using pacers against team which cannot read spinner.Congratulations Pakistan against spirited Kiwis who are in good form .All the best for upcoming matches.
athar Sep 24, 2012 05:48pm
Umar Gul should be rested and Razzak should be in. If you look the history Umar Gual is always the reason that we lost matches. If you want to keep him then do not give bowling to him in the last overs because he does not have strong nerve and loose his abilities in last overs.
nasser imran chowdhury Sep 23, 2012 04:13pm
gr8 performence by pak.......they are capable of winning the t20 wc,2012.....carry on pak..........
milton Sep 23, 2012 03:19pm
Well done Pakistan. I hope you know now that it is the nerves. If you hold your nerve and believe in your skills you win. You lose your nerve and run helter skelter, like headless chickens, you do not stand a chance.
Raja Saboor Sep 23, 2012 03:04pm
Well done team Pakistan!!!! Keep it up! The prayers of the whole nation are behind you. Keep it in mind that your wins are not mere wins: they are the the biggest unifying factors for the nation now......