Inspired NZ race into semis
Mohali, October 25:
Stephen Fleming’s New Zealand became the first team to reach the semi-finals of the Champions Trophy with a 51-run win over Pakistan here on Wednesday.
The Black Caps, clearly inspired by Fleming’s world record 194th match as captain, bowled out Pakistan for 223 after piling up 274-7.
Fleming, who overtook Sri Lankan Arjuna Ranatunga’s tally of 193 one-dayers as captain, led from the front with 80 and Scott Styris hit a fluent 86 runs. Mohammad Yousuf (71) and Shoaib Malik (52) put on 94 for the fifth wicket to resurrect Pakistan’s hopes after the top four batsmen had fallen by the 17th over with just 83 runs on the board. Pakistan moved to 177-4 in the 37th over, needing 98 more from 82 balls, when Shane Bond swung the match New Zealand’s way in his second spell.
Bond had Yousuf caught at cover and then removed the Abdul Razzaq two overs later. Bond finished with 3-45 from 10 overs while Kyle Mills and Jacob Oram picked up two wickets each.
New Zealand ended the league with two wins from three matches, ensuring themselves one of the two semi-final spots from group B. The winner of Friday’s match here between Pakistan and South Africa will take the other berth as Sri Lanka head home.
The race is also wide open in group A with three teams — world champions Australia, hosts India and the West Indies — in contention with one win each so far.
The 33-year-old Fleming opened the batting and stood his ground until the 38th over to steady the faltering innings. The Black Caps were reduced to 23-2 before being rescued by a fourth-wicket stand of 108 between Fleming and Styris.
Styris, who needed a runner in the latter part of his innings due to a back strain, smashed 10 fours to lead a late batting assault. Oram slammed 31 off 26 balls as New Zealand plundered 99 runs in the last 10 overs.
L Vincent b Gul 3
S Fleming c & b Malik 80
N Astle c Younis b Naved 15
PFulton lbw b Iftikhar 7
S Styris c Iftikhar b Gul 86
J Oram c Gul b Razzaq 31
B McCullum c Malik b Razzaq 27
J Franklin not out 9
D Vettori not out 0
Extras: 16 (lb8, nb1, w7)
Total: 274/7 (50 overs)
FoW: 1-3, 2-23, 3-60, 4-168, 5-220,
Pakistan bowling: Naved 8-0-44-1,
Gul 9-1-47-2, Iftikhar 8-2-41-1,
Razzaq 10-1-60-2, Afridi 10-0-49-0, Malik 5-0-25-1
Man of the Match: Stephen Fleming (NZ)
M Hafeez c McCullum b Oram 43
I Farhat c Mills b Bond 6
Y Khan c Vincent b Mills 2
M Yousuf c Fleming b Bond 71
S Afridi c Bond b Oram 4
S Malik c Astle b Vettori 52
A Razzaq c Franklin b Bond 6
K Akmal c Fleming b Mills 16
R Naved c McCullum b Franklin 1
U Gul run out 8
R Iftikhar not out 0
Extras: 14 (lb5, nb4, w5)
Total: 223 (46.3 overs)
FoW: 1-22, 2-45, 3-65, 4-83, 5-177,
6-195, 7-202, 8-205, 9-223
New Zealand bowling: Mills 7.3-1-38-2, Bond 10-0-45-3, Franklin 9-0-47-1, Oram 8-1-25-2, Vettori 10-0-52-1,