Mitchell, Williamson take New Zealand to 152/4 against Pak

New Zealand scores 152/4 against Pakistan
Kane Williamson
Kane WilliamsonAFP

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

Opting to bat, New Zealand batters found the going tough on a used SCG track as they struggled to connect the ball because of the slow nature of the surface. Mitchell (53 not out off 35) and skipper Kane Williamson (46 off 42) resurrected New Zealand's innings after early jolts to take the last edition's runner-up past the 150-run mark.

Finn Allen got his innings off to a confident start, hitting Shaheen Afridi's (2/24) full delivery down the ground past mid-on for a boundary. Afridi, however, rapped Allen on the pads in the next delivery and onfield umpire Marius Erasmus took time before raising his finger. But the batter got a reprieve as TV replays showed it was an inside edge on to the pads.

But Afridi got his man in the very next ball with another LBW shout and this time it was dead straight, even though Allen went for an unsuccessful review.

Other opener Devon Conway (21) tried to force the innings with three boundaries but was run out by a direct throw from Shadab Khan at mid-off. But new man Glenn Phillips lasted just eight balls, top-edging left-arm spinner Mohammad Nawaz straight back to him as New Zealand slumped to 49 for three in eight overs.

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

The duo brought up their fifty-run stand in just 36 balls but failed to force the pace towards the end as boundaries and sixes were hard to come by. Williamson fell four short of a half-century, bowled by Afridi in the 17th over with a slower off-cutter as the batter went for a scoop over the keeper's head.

After Williamson's departure, Mitchell kept the Kiwis' innings going and reached his fifty off 32 balls. With James Neesham (16 not out), Mitchell stitched an unconquered 35 off 22 balls but failed to give the final flourish as Pakistan 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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