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Pak storm into Twenty20 WC final

Riding on Imran Nazir's brilliant half-century, Pakistan beat NZ by six wickets after restricting them to a meek total.Play and win

cricket Updated: Sep 23, 2007 21:11 IST

A half-century by Imran Nazir and three wickets from paceman Umar Gul helped Pakistan beat New Zealand by six wickets with seven balls to spare on Saturday to reach the final of the inaugural Twenty20 World Cup.

Gul was not introduced until the 12th over at Newlands but quickly removed Scott Styris (18), Peter Fulton (10) and Jacob Oram (1) to restrict New Zealand to a modest 143 for eight after electing to bat first.

Opener Nazir, batting with a runner after injuring his leg, then lashed three fours and five sixes in his 41-ball innings of 59 to lead Pakistan to victory.

Nazir put on 60 for the first wicket with Mohammad Hafeez (32).

Pakistan were never behind the asking rate and remained in control throughout the run chase. Captain Shoaib Malik (26 not out) finished the contest in style by hammering off-spinner Jeetan Patel over mid-wicket for six.

Earlier, Ross Taylor top-scored for New Zealand with an unbeaten 37 from 23 balls. He smashed paceman Mohammed Asif for 17 in the final over.

Openers Brendan McCullum (26) and Lou Vincent (28) shared a 50-run opening stand before wickets started to fall on a regular basis.

Pakistan will meet Australia or India in Monday's final.

First Published: Sep 22, 2007 16:10 IST