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Pak have little trouble in defeating a nervous NZ

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In the afternoon match at Newlands in Cape Town, Daniel Vettori won the toss and elected to bat first on a dry wicket. The conditions however were very dark and cloudy, perfect for some one like Asif to run through batting line-ups. There was a pre-match worry for Pakistan with Asif being a doubtful starter with an elbow injury, but he got himself fit in time to play this knock-out match. Vincent and McCullum gave a steady start but the Kiwis weren’t quite getting the fours and sixes rolling. Fawad Alam, the left armer spinner gave the breakthrough for Pak with a smart return catch to end Lou Vincent’s stay (28 from 28 with a six) in the 8th over with NZ getting 50 on the board. From the 11th over onwards, Pakistan kept on chipping at the wickets as New Zealand tried to break the shackles. Umar Gul did most of the damage with his sharp pace and movement in the air and off the track to take the wickets of Styris, Fulton and Oram. Fawad Alam had did his bit in removing the dangerous Craig McMillan and when Oram was caught behin, Kiwis were going nowhere at 106 for 6 after 16. They could just manage 143 on the board for the loss of 8 wickets with Ross Taylor providing a late flourish with 37 from 23 with 2 sixes.

Umar Gul bowled a match winning spell of 3 for 15 in his 4 overs which gave him the Man of the Match award. Pakistan just cruised through the moderate target after getting a superb start from Mohammad Hafeez (32 from 21 with 3 fours and two sixes) and Imran Nazir (59 from 41 with 3 fours and 5 sixes). Shoaib Malik finished the match along with Misbah-ul-Haq with a couple of sixes. The New Zealand bowling just didn’t look penetrative enough and in particular their strike bowler Shane Bond looked very flat and ineffective.

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