Fri, Oct 27, 2006 - Page 23 News List

Black Caps first into semi-finals

AFP , MOHALI, INDIA

New Zealand cricketer Jacob Oram, left, congratulates teammate James Franklin after holding a catch to dismiss Pakistani batsman Abdul Razzaq during the ICC Champions Trophy match between Pakistan and New Zealand in Mohali, India, on Wednesday.

PHOTO: AFP

Stephen Fleming's New Zealand became the first team to reach the semi-finals of the Champions Trophy with a 51-run win over Pakistan in Mohali on Wednesday.

The Black Caps, clearly inspired by Fleming's world record 194th match as captain, bowled out Pakistan for 223 after piling up 274-7 in the day-night international.

Fleming led from the front with 80 and Scott Styris hit 86 after New Zealand were given first strike.

The Kiwis overcame a wet outfield, caused by late-evening dew that made it difficult to grip the ball, to beat Pakistan.

"I could not have asked for more," said the 33-year-old Fleming, who was named man of the match in his landmark game.

"We had good runs on the board but it was the way we bowled that was the key. Bond struck when it mattered most and the others also did their bit," he said. "We can now sit back and watch the others trying to get where we already are. It's a good feeling."

Mohammad Yousuf (71) and Shoaib Malik (52) put on 94 for the fifth wicket to resurrect Pakistan's hopes after the top four batsmen had fallen by the 17th over with just 83 runs on the board.

Pakistan moved to a healthy 177-4 in the 37th over, needing 98 more from 82 balls, when pace spearhead Shane Bond swung the match New Zealand's way in his second spell.

Bond had Yousuf caught at cover by Fleming with his third delivery and then removed the dangerous Abdul Razzaq two overs later, hooking a catch to fine-leg after making six.

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