Pakistan beat New Zealand to stay alive in World Twenty20 (Lead)

June 14th, 2009 - 3:17 am ICT by IANS  

London, June 14 (IANS) Umar Gul became the first bowler in Twenty20 internationals to claim five wickets in an innings as a resurgent Pakistan fired on all cylinders to convincingly defeat New Zealand by six wickets in a World Twenty20 Group F Super Eights match at The Oval here Saturday to stay alive in the tournament.
Gul’s incredible five wickets for six runs bowled out New Zealand for just 99 runs in 18.3 overs after the Black Cats had opted to bat. It was a superb bowling display by Man of the Match Gul, who was well assisted by comeback man Abdul Razzaq (2-17) in what was Pakistan’s must-win match.

After preventing New Zealand from achieving the three-figure mark, the win was just a matter of time for Pakistan.

Teenager Shahzaid Hasan (35) along with the experienced Kamran Akmal (19) gave Pakistan a steady start while some big hits by Shahid Afridi (29 not out) saw Pakistan achieve the target in 13.1 overs after losing just four wickets.

New Zealand skipper Daniel Vettori, who came into the side for the first time in the tournament despite not being fully fit, picked up 2-20 but the score was too small to defend.

Pakistan were desperate to win and this was apparent when Afridi effected a stunning catch, short of the long-on boundary, off Gul to dismiss Scott Styris (22).

Gul, who has emerged as one of the best bowlers in Twenty20’s short international life, also became the leading wicket taker in the tournament with 10 scalps. He came in to bowl with New Zealand placed at 72/4 and then ran through the New Zealand batting line-up to produce the best figures in Twenty20 internationals.

Razzaq, who came back to mainstream cricket after relinquishing his ties with the rebel Indian Cricket League (ICL), gave the Pakistanis an obvious lift from the start with the new ball after Mohammad Aamir’s first over gave away 14 runs.

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