Saeed Ajmal scalps four as Pakistan beat NZ by 13 runs

New Zealand progressed to the Super Eights stage of the World Twenty20 in Sri Lanka despite suffering a 13-run defeat to Pakistan in Pallekele.

Mohammed Hafeez’s side ran up 177 for six with Nasir Jamshed claiming four sixes in a confident 56, with New Zealand responding valiantly to post 164 for nine, but the Black Caps were unable to emulate the swashbuckling batting of their opponents. Hafeez came up with a fine all-round effort, scoring a valuable 43 and bowling an economical spell, giving away just 15 runs off his 4 overs.

Saeed Ajmal celebrates the wicket of Daniel Vettori yesterday. Pic/AFP

There was a nervous start for Pakistan as they opted to bat first, Hafeez being dropped for nought by Ross Taylor, but they soon began to rack up the runs.

It was not until the sixth over that Tim Southee caught and bowled Imran Nazir for 25 but Pakistan continued to score freely.

After Hafeez hit an 87-metre six in the ninth over, Pakistan reached the halfway stage at 92 for one and Jamshed brought up his 50 with a four and a single in the 13th over. New Zealand took three wickets in three overs, Hafeez first to go in the 14th over having been clean bowled by James Franklin.

New Zealand made an impressive start, with Rob Nicol and Williamson bringing up 47 in six overs, before Afridi clean bowled the former in the seventh.

Williamson followed swiftly, run out for 15 by Hafeez, and by the end of the 10th over, the Black Caps had been restricted to just 66 for two. They needed 19 runs from the last six balls but Umar Gul caught Tim Southee for one, Nathan McCullum fell to Ajmal for just five, with Mills and Adam Milne not able to score as Pakistan claimed victory.

Brief Scores:
Pakistan: 177 for six in 20 overs (Nasir Jamshed 56, Mohammad Hafeez 43; Tim Southee 2-31).
New Zealand: 164 for nine in 20 overs (Rob Nicol 33, Brendon McCullum 32; Saeed Ajmal 4-30) 

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