World Cup semis plot thickens as Pakistan stun New Zealand

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Pakistan ruined New Zealand’s excellent file with a six-wicket victory in Birmingham that saved their Cricket World Cup semifinal hopes alive.

Babar Azam made an unbeaten century as Pakistan saved their World Cup hopes alive to finish New Zealand’s unbeaten file with a six-wicket win at Edgbaston.

New Zealand knew victory would safe a fourth successive World Cup semi-final look, however the Black Caps had been unable to defend their whole of 6-237 towards revitalised opposition.

Pakistan nonetheless had loads of work to do on the midway mark of their chase, being Three-110 on a used pitch that was offering vital help to spinner Mitchell Santner.

However Azam’s 101 not out – the primary World Cup century by a Pakistan participant apart from a gap batsman since 1987 – noticed off New Zealand with 5 balls to spare.

Babar handed Three,000 one-day worldwide runs within the course of.

His 127-ball innings, which contained 11 fours, underlined the 24-year-old’s large expertise, however New Zealand wicketkeeper Tom Latham was left to replicate on a spilled catch off Santner when Babar had made 38.

It was to show a decisive drop and the end result was by no means doubtful after that, regardless of Santner’s spin and the early hostility generated by paceman Lockie Ferguson.

The fourth-wicket partnership between Babar and Haris Sohail, (68) who was run out within the penultimate over, was performed out in entrance of ecstatic Pakistan supporters, who delighted in taking on Edgbaston for the day.

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It was a gritty all-round workforce efficiency from Pakistan, who flew out of the blocks with Shaheen Afridi questioning New Zealand’s determination to bat in overcast situations by taking three wickets.

Their win may even increase anxiousness ranges within the England dressing room, with just one level now separating the 2 sides within the race for a top-four end.

Mohammad Amir had first-ball success as Martin Guptill dragged on, nevertheless it was Shaheen who shone to go away New Zealand in actual issue at Four-46.

The out-of-form Colin Munro (12) drove to slide, Ross Taylor (Three) was brilliantly caught by gloveman Sarfaraz Ahmed diving to his proper, and Latham (1) additionally edged behind.

Afridi had figures of 7-Three-11-Three from his first spell and completed with Three-28 – essentially the most economical spell by a Pakistan bowler on the final 5 World Cups.

Kane Williamson, so usually New Zealand’s saviour, dug in, however the Black Caps skipper fell for 41 as leg-spinner Shadab Khan discovered prodigious flip to present Sarfaraz a 3rd catch.

Jimmy Neesham and Colin De Grandhomme repaired the early injury with a sixth-wicket partnership of 132 as New Zealand confirmed their famend battling qualities.

De Grandhomme was ultimately run out for 64 and Neesham compiled an ODI better of 97 not out to set Pakistan what regarded like a difficult goal.

However New Zealand’s wait to ebook that last-four spot should lengthen into their ultimate two video games towards Australia and England.


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