Kiwis win thriller

Pakistan fell one run short of New Zealand’s 133-7 as the low scoring Super Eight clash was decided in the last ball.

New Zealand claimed their first T20 victory over Pakistan, keeping them in the running for a semifinal berth and casting doubt over Pakistan’s ability to defend their title. Mirroring last year’s clash, Pakistan restricted New Zealand to a modest total; their batsmen largely failing to make their presence felt.

Brendon McCullum gave the innings some impetus, but after a lack of support fell for 33 (from 29). Thereafter New Zealand slid to 58 for 4 in the tenth over, falling victim to Pakistan’s spin saturated bowling attack and Vettori was once again asked to pick up the pieces.

On his way to a T20 high score, Vettori belted two sixes (his first in international T20), and Nathan McCullum again starred with some rearguard action to prop up New Zealand to 133, which would ultimately prove enough..

Pakistan’s response managed to make New Zealand’s total competitive, their middle-order collapsing to 58 for 5. However Salman Butt, the inning’s anchor, and Abdul Razzaq consolidated; accelerating (the later hitting three sixes) to put Pakistan in a winning position. But when Nathan McCullum removed Razzaq the game took another turn. Butt held firm and reached his half-century, making it 11 needed off the final over.

Ian Butler’s first four deliveries heralded two boundaries at the hands of Butt, but with two balls remaining and three required to win, the Pakistani batsmen crossed for a bye and ultimately suffered for it. Two required off the final ball, Abdur Rehman holed out at mid-wicket, marking a New Zealand victory.

New Zealand 133-7 (20 overs)
Daniel Vettori 38, Brendon McCallum 33, Abdur Rehman 2-19
Pakistan 132-7 (20 overs)
Salman Butt 67*, Abdul Razzaq 29, Ian Butler 3-19
New Zealand won by one run

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