Guptill stars as New Zealand reach semi-finals


A masterful innings from Martin Guptill ensured New Zealand became the first team to reach the semi-finals of the World Twenty20 as Pakistan suffered a 22-run defeat which dealt a major blow to their hopes of reaching the last four.

Victories over hosts India and Australia put the Black Caps on the brink of the semi-finals and they made it three wins from three in Mohali on Tuesday to qualify, thanks in no small part to Guptill.

The dangerous opening batsman made a magnificent 80 from only 48 balls, including three sixes, and New Zealand went on to post an imposing 180-5 after winning the toss.

Pakistan really needed a win after a defeat to India which led to more criticism of captain Shahid Afridi and coach Waqar Younis, but could only muster 158-5 after Sharjeel Khan (47 from 25) got them off to a great start.

Mitchell Santner (2-29) impressed once again, while fellow spinner Ish Sodhi (1-25) and Adam Milne (2-26) also played key roles as Pakistan suffered a defeat which means their fate is out of their hands with just one game to come against Australia on Friday.

A tight first over from Mohammad Amir (0-41) went for only one run, but that proved to be the calm before the storm as Guptill hit Mohammad Irfan for a towering straight six and then set about ruining Amir's figures. 

Guptill's onslaught continued, with Imad Wasim - in for the injured Wahab Riaz - and Mohammad Sami also given the treatment and he brought up his half-century in the 11th over after Kane Williamson (17) and Colin Munro (7) departed.

The clean-hitting Guptill looked set for a century until he played on to a Sami (2-23) delivery, but Ross Taylor inflicted more damage with a quickfire 36 not out from 23 balls.

Sharjeel got Pakistan off to a flyer with some expansive strokes, launching Mitchell McClenaghan for a huge six over midwicket and there were already 65 runs on the board when he was caught by Guptill off Milne in the sixth over.

But Pakistan were unable to build on a promising start, with Santner striking twice and Sodhi taking the important wicket of Afridi as Pakistan's innings ended with a whimper.