Tell us what you think of the new cricket section at whatdoyouthink@bskyb.com

Don't show again

Day 1 of 1
New Zealand won by 5 wickets.

New Zealand vs Pakistan

Kiwis squeeze into final

Elliott and Vettori steer Black Caps to victory

Elliott: Match-winning 75 not out

Champions' Trophy
Johannesburg
Pakistan 233-9 (Umar Akmal 55, I G Butler 4-44) v New Zealand 234-5 (G D Elliott 75 no)
New Zealand beat Pakistan by 5 wkts

New Zealand booked an ICC Champions Trophy final date with Australia following a five-wicket victory over Pakistan at the Wanderers.

Grant Elliott was the New Zealand hero, the Kiwi all-rounder crafting an unbeaten 75 to see his side past the 233-run target with 13 balls to spare.

The Johannesburg-born player forged a match-winning 104-run partnership with captain Daniel Vettori after the Kiwis had slumped to 126-4 inside 30 overs.

The pair batted expertly under intense pressure after fast bowler Ian Butler had earlier claimed career-best figures of 4-44 to restrict Younus Khan's men to a sub-standard 233-9.

Trans-Tasman rivals Australia now stand between Vettori's men and a second Champions Trophy title when the sides meet at Centurion on Monday.

Impressive spell

New Zealand came into their eighth semi-final in 15 major ICC events on the back of impressive victories over Sri Lanka and England in the group stages.

However Pakistan started strongly, opening batsmen Imran Nazir and Kamran Akmal putting on 46 runs for the first wicket inside 10 overs.

And while Kiwi pace duo Kyle Mills and Shane Bond bowled with accuracy, it was the introduction of Butler that sparked the Black Caps into life during the second powerplay.

The Auckland-born quick followed up Bond's dismissal of Nazir with the key scalps of Shoaib Malik and Akmal during an impressive opening burst.

At 69-3, experienced Pakistan pair Younus and Mohammad Yousuf attempted a fightback, a plan halted when Vettori snared his opposite number for just 15.

With their innings in danger of subsiding, Yousuf and Umar Akmal - brother of wicketkeeper Kamran - dug in with a spirited 80-run partnership for the fifth wicket.

Yousuf made 45 and Akmal top-scored with 55 as Pakistan gave themselves a fighting chance of victory with a below-par, yet challenging, 233-9.

Assured

New Zealand would have been hoping for another explosive contribution from Brendon McCullum at the top of the order, however he was the first to depart, holing out to backward point for just 17.

Aaron Redmond, opening in place of the injured Jesse Ryder, continued to play his strokes undeterred, however Pakistan were celebrating again soon after when Martin Guptill fell tamely for just 11.

And when Redmond (31) presented Saeed Ajmal with a return catch and Ross Taylor was clean bowled by Shahid Afridi, the Kiwis found themselves in huge trouble at 126-4.

Much has been made about the lack of depth in the New Zealand batting order, however Vettori, promoting himself to No.6, led from the front during an assured middle-order stand with Elliott.

The pair nullified the spin of Ajmal and attacking fields expertly during a century stand in 17.1 overs.

Vettori, who had earlier claimed 3-43 with the ball, timed the use of his side's powerplay to perfection, striking three boundaries in his 42-ball 41 to steer his side within four runs of victory.

And although he was stumped attempting to finish the match in style, Elliott guided his side past the finishing line with a nerveless unbeaten 75.

Match Details

Date
3rd Oct 2009
Toss
Venue
Johannesburg
Umpires
I J Gould and S J A Taufel

new zealand BATTING CARD

Batsman R
McCullum c Afridi b M Amir 17
Redmond c&b Ajmal 31
Guptill c Naved-ul-Hasan b Gul 11
Taylor b Afridi 38
Elliott not out 75
Vettori st Akmal b Ajmal 41
Broom not out 3
Extras 4nb, 6w, 2b, 6lb 18
Total Close, 47.5 Overs 234 - 5
Full Batting Card

pakistan BOWLING CARD

Bowler O M R W
M Amir 10 2 32 1
Naved-ul-Hasan 8 0 57 0
Gul 8.5 0 48 1
Ajmal 8 0 39 2
Afridi 10 0 41 1
Malik 3 0 9 0
Full Bowling Card