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Rediff.com  » Sports » Butler spoils Pakistan's party

Butler spoils Pakistan's party

May 09, 2010 02:15 IST

Ian ButlerIn a pulsating, edge-of-the-seat encounter between New Zealand and Pakistan, it was Ian Butler who kept his cool to bowl New Zealand to victory, virtually shutting the defending champions out of the T20 World Cup.

Pakistan required 11 off the last over and two off the final delivery, after Salman Butt waged a lone battle to keep the Asian giants in the competition. Butler kept his cool; he bowled two dot balls and took a wicket off the last ball to emerge hero for the Black Caps.

-scorecard: New Zealand vs Pakistan

Butler, who was picked for the match in place of Tim Southee, was up to the competition as he claimed three for 19 in his four overs and stifled the Pakistani batsmen, who made heavy weather of a low score.

Earlier, left arm spinner Abdur Rehman and Mohammad Sami had struck crucial blows to tie down the Kiwis.

Invited to bat, the Kiwis found a batting hero in their skipper Daniel Vettori, who made a fighting 38 of 34 balls. Vettori was associated in a crucial 40-run association with Scott Styris (21) as the Kiwis ended at a modest 133 for seven in their stipulated overs.

Just like New Zealand, Pakistan also recovered from a jittery start -- they were 58 for five at one stage -- to take the match to the wire.

But when it mattered most, they floundered.

Even as wickets fell in a heap around him, Salman Butt batted with gumption and poise to remain unconquered with a 67 of 54 balls. He was involved in 53-run association for the sixth-wicket with Abdul Razzaq, who made 29, and at that time Pakistan looked favourites.

But New Zealand fought tooth and nail and kept themselves in contention of qualifying for the semi-finals.

Having suffered their second successive defeat in the Super Eights, Pakistan are almost out of the tournament and need a miracle of sorts to make the last-four stage.

They need to beat South Africa by a big margin on Monday and pray that England inflict a big defeat on New Zealand the same day.