|Ground:||Kennington Oval, Kennington|
|Scorecard:||New Zealand v Pakistan|
|Player:||SB Styris, Shahid Afridi, Umar Gul|
|Event:||ICC World Twenty20 2009|
DateLine: 13th June 2009
New Zealand skipper Daniel Vettori said at the toss that he would be looking for a total of no less than 180 runs batting first. Some false shots, irresponsible batting and fantastic bowling spells by Umar Gul and Shahid Afridi made sure the Kiwis fall way short of their captain's desire.
Pakistan batting though did not flatter to decieve. Another youngster Shahzaib Hasan came at the top of the order and gave them a fabulous start and though they lost a few wickets midway the Black Caps bowling and their meagre total never threatened. Chasing 100 to win, Pakistan started on a god note. The opening partnership of Kamran Akmal (19 off 14 balls) and Shahzaib Hasan (35 off 28 balls) yielded 36 runs in 4.2 overs. Akmal then was the first wicket to fall, hitting a short one straight to the deep-square leg where Martin Gultill made no mistake.
Then comeback man Abdul Razzak (5 off 8 balls) and Hasan added 25 runs for the second wicket in 22 balls before Vettori struck to send back all-rounder Razzaq. Razzaq edged a flighted delivery for Peter McGlashan to take a clean one behind the stumps. Wickets kept falling as the very next ball saw the end of Shahzaib Hasan, courtesy spectacular fielding and brilliant return to the wicketkeeper by Brendon McCullum, which found the batsman inches short of the crease. Skipper Vettori then bowled a beautiful flighted one in the next over to decieve Shoaib Malik (4 off 3 balls) who gave catching practice to Brendon McCullum at cover.
Post that Shahid Afridi and skipper Younis Khan combined to take Pakistan home with more than six overs to spare and keep their hopes alive in the tournament. The huge win meant that Pakistan go into their last game of the Super Eight stage with a good run-rate backing them up.
Earlier, Daniel Vettori after having been declared fit took up the mantle of the New Zealand outfit. He won the toss and decided to bat first. It seemed Brendon McCullum was waiting for his return to be freed from the burden of captaincy. He smacked the first ball he faced from Mohammad Aamer past point and the Kiwis were off to a flier. McCullum again hit the bowler for a boundary in the same over, this time to the deep backward square leg boundary.
But the wicketkeeper batsman did not last long. He fell to comeback man Abdul Razzak trying to force the pace. McCullum walked down the pitch and square drove the ball but found Fawad Alam at point. McCullum was soon followed by his opening partner. Last match half-centurian Aaron Redmond (15 off 14 balls) tried to heave one over mid-on but mistimed it to gift a dolly to mid-on.
Razzaq on the other hand continued to enjoy a rollicking comeback. The medium-pacer again struck in his third over, finding Martin Guptill plumb in front of his wickets for eight runs. The comeback man's first three overs costed his team only thirteen runs. These figures said a lot about the capability of someone Pakistan badly missed.
Post this Shahid Afridi rewrote the script he has been producing off late now for his side. His artistic quickish leg-spin has now troubled almost all teams in the shortest format of the game and the Black Caps were no different. The leg-spinners first two overs went for a meagre three runs and he also picked up dangerous Jacob Oram (5 off 11 balls). He finally finished giving away only 17 runs in his four overs.
And if his bowling efforts were not enough, Afridi picked up a sensational catch to send back a dangerous looking Scott Syris (22 off 29 balls). Styris looked surprisingly as Afridi did a 1983 World Cup finals Kapil Dev act, when the Indian skipper ran a similar distance to send back Vivian Richards.
From where Afridi left, Umar Gul took over. He produced a sensational spell of fast bowling, which till date is the best in T20 international history. The zippy bowler returned with figures of 3-0-6-5 as New Zealand failed to even cross the three figure mark, succumbing for a paltry 99.
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