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Semi-finals Pakistan

Pakistan hit back and it hit back hard and at the receiving end it was injury-plagued New Zealand. Pacer Umar Gul was on rampage. The lanky Peshawar bowler haunted the Kiwis and reverse swing the ball like crazy. He took five wickets at the expense of six runs in three overs to skittle New Zealand out for 99, much to the awe of Daniel Vettori. The New Zealand captain went on complaining that ‘I have no idea how it’s done.’ The hard job was done and Pakistan now had to beat Ireland to book their semi-final ticket which they achieved it with much ease. Confident in their approach, their top-order fired again and batting first set 160 for the Irishmen. This time it was off-spinner Saeed Ajmal’s turn to have a go with the leather. Ajmal took four wickets for 19 runs, as Pakistan roared into the semi-finals. Pakistanis may have played little cricket in the past eighth months but you cannot take the sublime skills of the sub-continent players for granted.

World Twenty20 Cup 2009

18 Jun,2009 4:30 PM GMT | T20I 1st Semi Final South Africa Vs Pakistan Trent Bridge, Nottingham

ResultPakistan won by 7 runs

NOTTINGHAM: Pakistan defeated South Africa by seven runs in an exciting finish in the first semi-finals of the World Twenty20 Cup 2009 here at Trent Bridge on Thursday.

Thus, Pakistan have qualified for playing the final and they will play either Sri Lanka or West Indies on Sunday for the title.

Shahid Afridi shone with bat and ball to win the Man-of-the-Match award. He first smashed 51 from 34 balls and then grabbed 2-16 with his leg-spin as Pakistan successfully defended 149-4 to restrict the favoured Proteas to 142-5 before a sell-out crowd at Trent Bridge.

Pakistan, runners-up to India in the inaugural World Twenty20 in South Africa two years ago, await the winners of Friday’s semi-final between Sri Lanka and the West Indies in Sunday’s final at Lord’s.

Afridi plundered eight boundaries, including four in succession off Johan Botha, after Pakistan elected to bat on a wicket that slowed down as the evening progressed.

Veteran Jacques Kallis made a brave attempt to take the South Africans home, striking seven fours and a six in 64 from 54 balls, but the other batsmen faltered against the spot-on attack.

South Africa made a steady start in reply as openers Kallis and Graeme Smith reached 40 by the sixth over.

Smith failed to make use of an early chance when he was dropped by Umar Gul as he skied a return catch to Mohammad Aamir after making 10.

Afridi, coming on to bowl in the seventh over, struck twice in four deliveries when he bowled Herschelle Gibbs and AB de Villiers to make South Africa 50-3 in 8.3 overs.

Afridi and fellow-spinner Saeed Ajmal, made runs hard to come by, and when the dangerous Gul came on to bowl in the 14th over, South Africa needed a further 77 from 42 balls.

Kallis and JP Duminy raised South Africa’s hopes by adding 61 from 53 balls for the fourth wicket, but Ajmal broke the threatening stand by having Kallis caught in the deep in the 18th over.

Duminy remained unbeaten on 44 from 39 balls but the task of needing 23 runs in the last over bowled by Aamir proved too much for him and Mark Boucher.

It did not matter at the end that Pakistan, who were 120-3 after 15 overs, failed to build on the early advantage and managed just 29 runs in the final five overs.

Pakistan had made a frenetic start, racing to 28 off the first 15 deliveries but at the cost of two wickets.

After Kamran Akmal had taken eight runs in Dale Steyn’s first over, Shahzaib Hasan fell in the second over for zero when he miscued a big hit off left-arm seamer Wayne Parnell.

Akmal struck a six in Steyn’s second over, but fell off the next delivery as he top-edged a pull to Morkel at mid-on. Akmal made 23 from 12 balls with four boundaries and a six.

Afridi, promoted to number three, swung Kallis for two fours in one over as Pakistan reached 47-2 by the time the field restrictions ended after the sixth.

Afridi brought up his half-century off 33 deliveries after slamming off-spinner Botha for four consecutive boundaries in the 11th over that realised 18 runs.

A desperate Smith turned to slow bowler Duminy in the 13th over and struck gold first ball as Afridi holed out to mid-wicket.

LONDON: India and New Zealand will face each other in the first ICC Women’s World Twenty20 2009 semi-final at Trent Bridge on Thursday.

The White Ferns, who were losing finalists in the ICC Women’s World Cup in March in Australia, start favourites to make the final at Lord’s after carrying their good form to Taunton with three convincing wins.

New Zealand, who had arrived in England on the back of a three-Twenty20 series with Australia, beat an undercooked India comfortably in Taunton ahead of the tournament.

Though India eased into the semis with two wins – its sole defeat was to favourite England – Mithali knows that its batting has been shaky and has relied on individual performances such as Anjum Chopra’s 37 not out against Pakistan, and her own unbeaten 32 against Sri Lanka.

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