Bangalore: Disciplined Pak bowling attack led by Umar Gul restricted New Zealand to 143 for eight in the first semi-final of Twenty20 World Cup at Newlands in Cape Town on Saturday.
After deciding to take the first strike on a rain-marred day – openers Lou Vincent and Brendon McCullum provided Kiwis a fine start. The duo put on 50 in just under eight overs before the debutant Fawad Alam took a brilliant catch off his bowling to dismiss Vincent. Vincent scored 28 runs in as many balls with one hit to the fence and one over it.
In the following over Shahid Afridi consumed McCullum (26 off 27 balls) trapping the Kiwi opener plumb infront. However it was Gul who put Pakistan in driver's seat with double strikes in his second over. Gul sent Scott Styris and Peter Fulton packing to put skid on the New Zealand scoring rate.
Styris fell for 11 after hitting a four and a six and Fulton hit a full toss to skipper Shoaib Malik after making ten.
Next man in Craig McMillan, the man in form, immediately caused some concerns in the Pak camp when he hammered Alam for a straight six and boundary.
However, Alam had the last laugh when he removed McMillan caught on the long-off fence by Younus Khan. He made 12 off six balls. The young left-arm spinner, drafted in at the cost of lackluster Salman Butt, was impressive, returning with figures of two for 29 in his three overs.
Late charge by Ross Taylor (37 off 23) helped Kiwis post a decent 143 in their stipulated 20 overs
Gul bagged three for 15 in his four overs, while Afridi was steady as well, taking one for 24 in his four.
New Zealand 143 for 8 in 20 overs (Ross Taylor 37*, Vincent 28, McCullum 26; Gul 3 for 15, Alam 2 for 29, Afridi 1 for 24) Vs Pakistan.