Gul first to take five wickets

LONDON: Umar Gul became the first bowler to claim five wickets in Twenty20 internationals as Pakistan roared back into contention in the world championships on Saturday.

Needing a win to stay in the competition, Pakistan rode on seamer Gul’s amazing figures of five wickets for six runs in three overs to skittle New Zealand out for a paltry 99 in 18.3 overs at the Oval. Pakistan surpassed the modest target in 13.1 overs for the loss of four wickets to come back strongly after losing their opening Super Eights match to Sri Lanka by 19 runs on Friday.

Teenager Shahzaib Hasan hit four boundaries and two sixes in his maiden international match before he was run out for 35 off 28 balls.

Pakistan lost three wickets in eight balls to slip from 61-1 to 71-4, but Shahid Afridi lifted his team home with 29 not out.

Gul sliced through the tail to build on Abdur Razzaq’s memorable return to official cricket after two years.

Razzaq, who last played for Pakistan in May 2007, grabbed a wicket off his fourth delivery and another one in his third over to reduce New Zealand to 37-3.

The 29-year-old was called up as a replacement for the injured Yasir Arafat after breaking links with the rebel Indian Cricket League.

Asked to open the bowling by captain Younus Khan, Razzaq had the dangerous Brendon McCullum caught at point before trapping Martin Guptill leg-before.

Gul, brought on as the sixth bowler, struck immediately as Afridi sprinted back from mid-on to catch Scott Styris (22) near the boundary. The steady seamer claimed four of the last five wickets to leave Pakistan chasing a modest target of 5.5 runs an over.

Scott Styris’ 22 was New Zealand’s top score on the easy-paced wicket as eight batsmen failed to reach double figures. Pakistan omitted opener Salman Butt to play 19-year-old rookie Shahzaib Hasan and brought in Razzaq in place of Sohail Tanvir.

New Zealand captain Daniel Vettori made his first appearance in the tournament following a shoulder injury, but batsman Ross Taylor again missed out with a hamstring strain.