New Zealand see off Pakistan to take semi spot

New Zealand became the first team to reach the semi-finals of this ICC World Twenty20, making it three group wins from three as Martin Guptill‘s 80 proved too much for Pakistan.

Guptill’s 48-ball innings, featuring 10 fours and three sixes, set the Black Caps up for a score of 180 for five under lights in Mohali.

That was 22 too many for Pakistan, who ended on 158 for five and for whom progression is out of their hands. To have a chance they must beat Australia at the same venue on Friday.

New Zealand’s last group opponents are Bangladesh in Kolkata on Saturday, a match they can afford lose although perhaps not if they want top Group 2.

The Black Caps were unchanged today, meaning prominent pacemen Tim Southee and Trent Boult again missed out.

Pakistan were missing Mohammad Hafeez due to a leg injury and Wahab Riaz, who suffered a blow to the face in training, so batsman Khalid Latif and left-arm spinner Imad Wasim came in.

Guptill, surprisingly without an Indian Premier League team, dominated an opening stand of 62 with captain Kane Williamson, his first maximum a monster over long-on off Mohammad Irfan.

Martin Guptill lays into a Pakistan attack that he largely dominated with his brutal innings of 80

An Irfan slower ball had Williamson caught at cover and Colin Munro made little impact, but Corey Anderson supported the opener in a fifty partnership.

Pakistan skipper Shahid Afridi felt he should have had Guptill lbw for 49. Guptill eventually played on to Mohammad Sami, the over before Afridi snared his second scalp when Anderson holed out to long-off.

Ross Taylor, with 36 not out, and Luke Ronchi then provided late hitting.

Sharjeel Khan and Ahmed Shehzad started the chase well, adding 65 inside the powerplay before Sharjeel fell to Adam Milne for 47 from 25 deliveries with nine fours and a six.

Mitchell Santner then accounted for Latif and Shehzad, the latter for 30.

Afridi threatened to fire, but Anderson’s sensational catch at long-off sent him on his way and after the match Afridi said he will retire from international cricket following the tournament.

Umar Akmal’s sluggish 24 was endemic of Pakistan’s chase, which fell well short.

Source: ECB

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