New Zealand seal semi-final spot with Pakistan triumph

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Football News

New Zealand became the first team to book their place in the ICC World Twenty20 semi-finals after Martin Guptill's big-hitting and more fine spin bowling proved key against Pakistan.

Guptill's 80 from 48 balls underpinned a total of 180 for five in Mohali, and then Mitchell Santner and Ish Sodhi recorded combined figures of 8-0-54-3 as Pakistan's chase ran out of puff to finish 22 runs short.

New Zealand therefore have a perfect Group 2 record of three wins from three matches and are through to the knockout stage, irrespective of remaining Super 10 results.

Guptill took an instant liking to Mohammad Irfan, after Kane Williamson won the toss, and the giant left-armer proved Pakistan's most expensive bowler.

There was just one close call for Guptill, escaping via a marginal lbw call against Shahid Afridi on 49.

Otherwise, his hitting was clinical in stands of 62 for the first wicket with Williamson and 52 for the third with Corey Anderson.

The opener bagged 10 fours and three straight sixes, before he chopped the impressive Mohammad Sami down on to his stumps.

Anderson and then Ross Taylor kept the Kiwis on the charge, and 16 came off Mohammad Amir's final over.

Sharjeel Khan got Pakistan's reply off to a blistering start, with nine fours and a six in his 47 from just 25 balls.

The left-hander took 15 off Santner in the first over of the chase, and then 18 from Mitchell McClenaghan's first too.

But Sharjeel holed out to Guptill in the off-side ring, off Adam Milne, after dominating an opening stand of 65 inside the powerplay with Ahmed Shehzad, and then Santner returned to have Khalid Latif caught in the deep.

New Zealand began to haul back the run rate, as Santner found some turn and conceded only 14 in his last three overs.

Shehzad cracked with a pull off Santner straight to Guptill again at deep midwicket and after Afridi escaped a sharp caught-behind chance first ball off the slow left-armer, the Pakistan captain was instead well-held by Anderson on the long-off boundary off leg-spinner Sodhi.

The boundaries dried up completely in the last five overs, and Guptill capped his evening with his third catch of the innings as Umar Akmal miscued Milne to long-on.

Pakistan needed 39 off the last two overs, and unsurprisingly fell short as they finished on 158 for five.

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