Pakistan prevail over slow Kiwis
Story Dated: Sunday, September 23, 2012 19:39 hrs IST
Pakistan’s Umar Gul (L) celebrates after taking the wicket of New Zealand’s Brendon McCullum during their Twenty20 World Cup cricket match.
Pallekele (Sri Lanka): New Zealand's batsmen picked up the pace way too late as Pakistan survived some tense moments before beating them by 13 runs in their Group D clash of the World Twenty20 here today.
Chasing 178, New Zealand, who beat Bangladesh in their lung-opener, played steady with the bat but it was a tad too slow for the format as they ended with 164 for nine.
Pakistan, on the other hand, put up a clinical performance with both the bat and ball to win the match comfortably.
After Nasir Jamshed's maiden half century - a 35-ball 56 - and Mohammed Hafeez's fine 43-run knock guided the team to a challenging total, their bowlers completed the job by drying up the runs for the Kiwi batsmen.
Brendon McCullum (32) showed some spark but he hardly found any aggressive support at the other end and was castled by Umar Gul after striking four boundaries and a six in a 31-ball effort.
Rob Nicol top-scored for the Kiwis with a 28-ball 33 that included three fours and a six. Skipper Ross Taylor also made a fine contribution, hitting three fours and a six in his 11-ball 26 before being run out.
The rest of the Kiwi innings did not feature any worthwhile contribution as Saeed Ajmal worked his magic to pick up four wickets in his four overs that cost 34 runs.
Earlier, electing to bat, Pakistan rode on Jamshed's 35-ball 56 and some fine contributions from the openers - Mohammed Hafeez (43) and Imran Nazir (25) - to post a tough target for New Zealand.
The openers provided a steady start with a 47-run stand before Nazir's entertaining cameo, that came off 16 deliveries, was ended by Tim Southee.
Nazir, who struck five boundaries during his brief stay at the crease, was sent back to the pavilion after he pushed the ball right back to Southee, who took the catch in his follow through.