New Zealand defeat Pakistan in semifinal

Elliot and Vettori storm New Zealand to Victory

New Zealand has beaten Pakistan, in the second semifinal of the ICC Champions Trophy ’09, and will meet Austrailia in the final, on Monday. New Zealand comprehensively won by 5 wickets, with Elliot staying till the end, scoring 75 of  103 balls, which included 5 fours and a six. Vettori also made a valuable contribution of 41 runs in the fifth wicket partnership to ensure the win for the team, and was also declared “Man of the match” for his bowling figures of 3 wickets for 43.

Pakistan made 233 in their 50 overs, with a last wicket partnership adding valuable 35 runs. Pakistan was given a steady start by Imran Nazir, and Kamran Akmal for the first wicket partnership and in the mandatory powerplay, they had scored around 45 runs. Then wickets started to fall, first to go was Imran, scoring brisk 28 runs, which included 6 fours. Soon Pakistan were 3 down for just 69 runs, and then 4 for 86.

Muhammad Yousaf and Umar Akmal put on a good show, and strengthen team’s postion with a partnership of 80 for the fifth wicket but then both players got out in a short duration of time, with Umar being unlucky as was given a wrong LBW decision. There was time when Pakistan were 198 for 9, but the last wicket partnership added 35 runs, to get Pakistan total to 233 for 9, in 50 overs.

New Zealand started the chase steadily, but losing McCullum with 22 runs on board. Following is the fall of wickets for the New Zealand innings:
Fall of wickets: 1-22 (McCullum, 4.3 ov), 2-43 (Guptill, 9.1 ov), 3-71 (Redmond, 16.4 ov), 4-126 (Taylor, 29.5 ov), 5-230 (Vettori, 46.6 ov)

The major contribution in the New Zealand innings was the fifth wicket partnership of 104 runs between Captain Vettori, and Elliot, and they took the match away from Pakistan as they fully utilized the batting powerplay.

However, Pakistan played well in the tournament and have seemed to be improving with every match. They were beaten by the better side in the semifinals though.

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