New Zealand lose but qualify

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New Zealand sunk to a 13-run defeat at the hands of Pakistan but qualified for the Super Eights stage of the World Twenty20 regardless.

New Zealand sunk to a 13-run defeat at the hands of Pakistan but qualified for the Super Eights stage of the World Twenty20 regardless.

Sunday's result at the Pallekele International Cricket Stadium ensured both sides graduation to the last eight teams of the tournament, with fellow Group D competitors handed an early exit.

Pakistan's triumph was built on the back of a formidable effort with the bat, after which their spin bowlers did a fine job in strangling the Black Caps' reply.

Batman Nasir Jamshed was named Man of the Match for his career-best knock of 56 from just 35 balls included, two boundaries and all of four sixes included.

Jamshed and Mohammad Hafeez were the fortunate recipients of dropped catches after Ross Taylor shelled a chance in the slips off the third ball of the day to afford Hafeez a lifeline on zero and Rob Nicol grassed an opportunity at square-leg when the eventual half-centurion only had 34.

The Black Caps' choice to replace injured opener Martin Guptill with Adam Milne backfired entirely, with the fast bowler's lone over copping plenty of expense and the pursuit left a batsman light.

Kane Williamson opened the batting alongside Rob Nicol, while Daniel Vettori and Jacob Oram were pushed up the order above Taylor and James Franklin. Each of the top seven reached double figures, but not was one able to move beyond Nicol's 33.

Pakistan's spin trio did a masterful job in upping the asking rate. Hafeez, sharing the new ball with seamer Sohail Tanvir, conceded a mere 15 runs from his four overs. Shahid Afridi and Saeed Ajmal conceded just 60 runs from their eight overs combined, with the latter snaring a match haul of four for 30.

The New Zealanders remained in the hunt through the late overs, taking advantage of the relatively quick nature of the pitch as the opposition seamers completed their respective complements. Skipper Taylor led from the front, carting Umar Gul for three boundaries on the trot, only for a run-out to end his blossoming cameo.

Asked to keep the final over to under 19 runs, Ajmal duly delivered, allowing for a mere five runs despite Nathan McCullum and Kyle Mills' hefty ambition to find the fence with every heavy and swing.

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