New Zealand have played some brilliant cricket in the ongoing World T20, defeating teams like India and Australia. They continued their impressive display, defeating Pakistan by 22 runs at Punjab Cricket Association IS Bindra Stadium in Mohali, Tuesday. With this win, New Zealand have qualified for the semifinals of the World T20.
Martin Guptill played an integral role with the bat, scoring 80 runs, to help New Zealand emerge victorious. Guptill's innings set up this victory for New Zealand, who scored 180 runs batting first. Pakistan only managed to compile 158 runs in reply.
Guptill was sensational at the top of the order for New Zealand, taking on Pakistan seamers and spinners with ridiculous ease, hitting those massive sixes into the crowd. Guptill scored 48-ball 80, which comprised ten fours and three sixes.
Guptill could have even scored a ton had it not been for the played on dismissal in the 15th over. He was looking comfortable at the batting crease. Despite Guptill's wicket, other New Zealand batsmen such as Corey Anderson and Ross Taylor played a big hand in reaching 180 runs from their allotted 20 overs.
Anderson and Taylor scored 21 and 36 runs respectively. Shahid Afridi and Mohammad Sami were the pick of the bowlers for Pakistan as they picked up two wickets each. Though Pakistan comprised quality bowlers like Mohammad Irfan and Mohammad Amir, they were taken to the cleanest by the Black Caps' batsmen, which led to a massive total for Pakistan batsmen to chase.
If it was Guptill for New Zealand, Sharjeel Khan blossomed for Pakistan early on, scoring 15 runs from the 1st over, which pressurised the Black Caps. Sharjeel continued his attack, striking boundaries at will against the likes of Mitchell McClenaghan, who was taken for 18 runs in the fourth over.
New Zealand bowlers bowled it full, short, and tried various mix of balls, but the result was same from Sharjeel's bat - boundaries, primarily in the leg side. However, Adam Milne provided the much-needed breakthrough, dismissing Sharjeel for 25-ball 47, which brought back Black Caps into the game.
After losing Sharjeel, other batsmen did not really excel with the bat, so the target always looked uphill. Shahid Afridi promoted himself up the order, and played a cameo, scoring 9-ball 19, which was still not enough. Umar Akmal (24 runs) tried his best to help Pakistan win their second match of the World T20, but New Zealand's total of 180 looked too much as the Men in Green fell short by 22 runs.
With this victory, New Zealand, who have qualified for the semifinals, will be a serious title contender. They have not lost a single game in the World T20 2016.