Pakistan defeat New Zealand by 13 runs
Pallekele (Sri Lanka), Sep 23: Pakistan won their World Twenty20 Group D tie against New Zealand by 13 runs at the Pallekele International Cricket Stadium here Sunday.
Chasing a target of 178, New Zealand could only manage 164 for nine in their final group match.
The Kiwis started well reaching 50 in six overs, aided by openers Rob Nicol (33) and Kane Williamson.
After Williamson got run out by Nasir Jamshed, wicket-keeper batsman Brendon McCullum, who scored the highest 123 in T20 internationals against Bangladesh Friday, took charge of the innings and scored an important 32.
However, after McCullum was bowled by Umar Gul, the New Zealanders could not stabilise their innings and kept losing wickets at regular intervals.
Later in the match, skipper Ross Taylor also played a cameo of 26 off 11 balls but his run-out blocked the Islanders' chances of winning the match.
Mohammed Hafeez and Saeed Ajmal were the pick of the bowlers for Pakistan.
Hafeez, after shining with the bat earlier in the innings, kept the Kiwi run-rate in check giving away only 15 runs in his quota of four overs.
Ajmal bowled brilliantly at the death, clinching four wickets for 30 runs in his four.
Earlier, the Pakistani top-order pummelled the Kiwi bowlers to get off to a flier. Openers Hafeez (43) and Imran Nazir's (25) opening partnership of 47 got the Asian country to a good start.
After Nazir gave a catch back to bowler Tim Southee, Nasir Jamshed anchored the Pakistani innings with a 35-ball 56, which included four sixes and two boundaries.
A 15-ball 23 by Umal Akmal propelled the 2009 champions to 177 for six.
Pacers Tim Southee and Jacob Oram chipped in two wickets each.
Jamshed was named the man-of-the-match for his splendid innings.
The crucial final Group D tie will be played between Bangladesh and Pakistan Tuesday.© IANS
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