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Vettori best saves stuttering New Zealand


Daniel Vettori scored his highest ever Twenty20 international score of 38 to help rescue New Zealand after they had buckled under pressure from the Pakistan spinners to record a total of 133-7 at the Kensington Oval.

Having been put into bat by Pakistan the Kiwis good off to a good start with Brendon McCullum looking in good form after suffering a disappointing tournament with the bat.

Having entered the tournament by scoring a century against Australia earlier this years McCullum has had a terrible time with the bat, his highest score, 22, came against Zimbabwe.

Partnered by Jess Ryder; McCullum started the innings by dispatching Mohammad Aamer for a boundary from the final ball of the first over.

He followed this up by treating Mohammad Samiís bowling with the same sort of contempt smashing the bowler for consecutive boundaries at the start of the 4th over as New Zealand enjoyed a productive start.

While McCullum was finding the boundary with ease; Ryder was struggling to even get start having scored 7 runs from 7 balls.

With the pressure mounting he tried to flick away a length delivery from Mohammad Sami but he picked out Abdur Rehman at deep square leg to give Pakistan the break through.

McCullum was joined at the crease by Martin Guptill and although McCullum found the boundary at the end of the 5th over; the runs had started to dry up with Guptill having only scored 2 runs from the 10 balls he had faced.

With every dot ball Guptill was getting more and more frustrated at the crease and with the spinners seemingly having a strangle hold on the game Guptill decided to attack Abdur Rehmanís second over.

He came down the track looking to pull Rehman through the covers but he miss hit the shot towards long-on where Umar Akmal took a superb diving catch to dismiss a very frustrated Guptill.

With the Kiwis 41-2 Ross Taylor joined McCullum at the crease but they could only build a 14 run partnership before Pakistan struck to remove the danger man; McCullum (33).

In an attempt to kick start the Kiwiís faltering innings McCullum tried to sweep Abdur Rehman but he got an ugly top edge which sailed to Mohammad Sami at deep square leg.

With Pakistan on top they struck again in the next over to remove Taylor (3) as the Kiwis innings took another big hit reducing them to 58-4 after 9.2 overs.

Vettori and Scott Styris steadied the ship which a much needed partnership of 40 but once again Pakistan struck back as Styris (21) was bowled by a faster delivery from Shahid Afridi to leave the Kiwis 98-5.

Gareth Hopkins (2) followed an over later to leave Vettori (38) and Nathan McCullum (12) the task of seeing out the last 4 overs. The pair added an important 23 runs to the total allowing the Kiwi bowlers some sort of total to hopefully defend.

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