BlackCaps focus on the field
Tue, 25 Sep 2012 7:28a.m.
New Zealand progressed from the preliminary pool stage courtesy of their net run-rate despite losing to Pakistan by 13 runs in Pallekele on Monday morning (NZ time).
The defeat followed their 59-run victory in their tournament opener against Bangladesh at the same venue.
Skipper Ross Taylor feels his side's fielding in both matches was below par, and against Pakistan it allowed the opposition batting line-up to have too good a start.
Pakistan, who won the toss and chose to bat, were 92-1 at the mid-point of an innings that finished at 177-6.
"We probably leaked a few too many runs in that first 10 overs," Taylor said, although he was pleased with how the Black Caps then managed to peg the Pakistanis back.
"We could have been staring down the barrel of a 190, 200 score."
Taylor was himself party to the fielding lapses, dropping a slip catch offered up in the very first over by rival skipper Mohammad Hafeez off the bowling of Kyle Mills.
Pakistan's top-scorer was Nasir Jamshed, who collected his maiden half-century, a 35-ball 56.
Tim Southee and Jacob Oram both picked up two wickets, while veteran left-arm spinner Daniel Vettori had the most economical figures of 1-23 from his four overs.
The BlackCaps made a steady start to their run chase, but looked like they had given themselves too much to do when they needed 70 from the last five overs.
They did manage to give Pakistan a scare, with Taylor hitting Umar Gul for three consecutive fours in the penultimate over before being run out for an 11-ball 26.
The other major contributions came from opener Rob Nicol (33) and Brendon McCullum (32).
Spinner Saeed Ajmal was the best of the Pakistani bowlers, his 4-30 giving him his fourth four-wicket haul in T20 internationals.
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