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Rediff.com  » Sports » Pakistan in semis after England beat NZ

Pakistan in semis after England beat NZ

Last updated on: May 11, 2010 03:37 IST

Eion MorganEngland continued their prime form to beat New Zealand in the World Twenty20 Super Eights in St Lucia by three wickets, knocking the Kiwis out of the tournament and putting Pakistan through to the semi-finals

Pakistan eliminated South Africa earlier before England secured their passage to the last four after reaching their target of 150 with five balls to spare.

-Scorecard: England vs New Zealand

Michael Lumb (32) and Eoin Morgan (40) were the top scorers for England, who were already assured a place in the semis.

Pakistan's place in the last four was a surprise after they lost their opening games to England and New Zealand.

It was particular painful for the Kiwis who came to the Caribbean in confident mood with a full-strength squad free of injuries.

Although England lost opener Craig Kieswetter for 15 in the third over, they raced to 50 inside six overs.

England lost three quick wickets, Ravi Bopara, Lumb and skipper Paul Collingwood, to slip to 66 for four which offered some hope to New Zealand.

But Luke Wright Eoin Morgan to adde 52 runs for the fifth wicket and it was left to all-rounder Tim Bresnan to help finish things off with a brisk 23.

For England, without Kevin Pietersen who is due to return from his paternity leave to rejoin the team for their semi-final, it was about keeping their positive run of form alive.

Earlier, New Zealand rode on useful knocks from Ross Taylor, Brendon McCullum and Scott Styris to post a modest 149 for six.

In the face of England's disciplined attack, McCullum (33) was not at his attacking best and it was the 62-run fourth wicket partnership between Ross Taylor (44) and Scott Styris (31), which turned out to be the cornerstone of the Kiwi innings.

New Zealand's was a rather sluggish start despite two stroke-makers -- McCullum and Jesse Ryder (9) -- opening the innings after skipper Daniel Vettori had won the toss and opted to bat first in the do-or-die match.

The opening stand had yielded 30 runs when Tim Bresnan castled Ryder in the fifth over.

McCullum tried to assert himself but timing was not always perfect and he struggled to find gaps, partly because of his penchant to hit the ball too hard.

The desperation to break loose grew as the English bowlers maintained a stifling line and length and Graeme Swann dealt a double blow in successive overs to peg back the Kiwis.

The off-spinner first induced a fatal slog-sweep from Raymond in his second over and returned to have McCullum caught in the deep.

Styris joined Taylor in the middle and the duo stepped on gas, helping themselves to some welcome boundaries.

Taylor hit Swann out of the ground, while Styris cleared the ropes off a Ryan Sidebottom delivery before Stuart Broad cut short his 19-ball stay.

Taylor hit Sidebottom for a six in the penultimate over before holing out in the next ball and exit after a 33-ball cameo and New Zealand eventually halted just before the 150-mark.

"I keep saying that in this game it is crucial you keep the momentum going and stay in winning ways and I am delighted that we did that," Collingwood told reporters.

But for opposite number Daniel Vettori it was a bitterly disappointing end to the tournament.

"Fifty was competitive but I would say about 10 below par. We did well to fight back but Morgan and Wright's partnership took it away from us. We could have bowled better. In the end, we just haven't been able to put enough runs on the board," he said.

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