New Zealand scores 152/4 against Pakistan

CHENNAI: Daryl Mitchell hit a timely unbeaten fifty to help New Zealand post a decent 152-for-four against Pakistan in the first SCG slow-court semi-final here on Wednesday.

Opting for the bat, the New Zealand batters found it difficult on a worn SCG track as they struggled to connect the ball due to the sluggishness of the box. Mitchell (53 out of 35) and skipper Kane Williamson (46 out of 42) resurrected New Zealand’s heats after early jolts to take the runner-up from last edition past the 150-point mark.

Finn Allen started his innings confidently, hitting Shaheen Afridi’s (2/24) full delivery on the ground after midfield for a boundary. Afridi, however, hit Allen on the pads on the next delivery and on-field referee Marius Erasmus took time before raising his finger. But the batter got a reprieve as TV replays showed it was an inside edge on the pads.

But Afridi put her man in the very next ball with another LBW shoutout and this time it was straight up, even though Allen went for an unsuccessful review.

Fellow fly-half Devon Conway (21) tried to force the innings with three limits but was taken out by a straight throw from Shadab Khan halfway through. But new man Glenn Phillips lasted just eight balls, left-arm spinner Mohammad Nawaz coming straight at him as New Zealand slumped to 49 for three from eight overs.

Thereafter, Williamson and Mitchell held the innings together and shared 68 runs on 50 balls for the fourth wicket. While Williamson played the role of anchor, mostly dealing with ones and twos with occasional boundaries in between, Mitchell was at his aggressive best.

The duo raised their stand by fifty points in just 36 balls, but failed to force the pace towards the end as the limits and sixes were hard to come by. Williamson was down four within a half, knocked down by Afridi in the 17th with a slower stroke as the batter went for a ball over the keeper’s head.

After Williamson left, Mitchell held on innings for the Kiwis and reached his fifty on 32 balls. With James Neesham (16 not out), Mitchell sewed an unbeaten 35 on 22 balls but failed to deliver the final shot as the Pakistani bowlers made a strong comeback.

Pakistan (playing XI): Mohammad Rizwan (w), Babar Azam (c), Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammad Haris, Shan Masood, Iftikhar Ahmed, Shadab Khan, Mohammad Wasim Jr, Naseem Shah, Haris Rauf, Shaheen Afridi

New Zealand (playing XI): Finn Allen, Devon Conway(w), Kane Williamson(c), Glenn Phillips, Daryl Mitchell, James Neesham, Mitchell Santner, Tim Southee, Ish Sodhi, Lockie Ferguson, Trent Boult

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