New Zealand beat Pakistan by 22 runs to qualify for semi-finals © Getty Images
New Zealand beat Pakistan by 22 runs to qualify for semi-finals © Getty Images

New Zealand became the first team to make it to the semi-finals of the T20 World Cup 2016, defeating Pakistan by 22 runs in a relatively high-scoring affair. New Zealand were in the driver’s seat for most part of the contest, but the match was not without it’s fair share of drama. Martin Guptill set the tone for the Kiwi’s with a mighty 48-ball 80. Sharjeel Khan threatened to respond in kind with a 25-ball 47, but after his dismissal, the New Zealand bowlers pulled it back in spectacular fashion, with the spinners taking the forefront yet again. Rishad D’Souza brings you the highlights. FULL SCORECARD: New Zealand vs Pakistan, 23rd T20 Match, Super 10 Group 2

Martin Guptill lays the foundation and builds on it too: New Zealand identified that this was going to be a fairly good batting surface and Kane Williamson, for the the third time in succession, opted to bat first after winning the toss. Guptill’s intentions were clear right from the first over, even though the first over did not yield optimal results with only two runs coming off it. Guptill was going to have a go at most things. That is exactly what he did. He used his long arms to hit massive sixes in the powerplay period. Not only did he lay the foundation, but also drove most of the building thereon. His knock of 80 from 48 balls witnessed three sixes and 10 fours. The great thing about his knock was that he maintained an awareness of the situations and changed his game accordingly.

Ross Taylor provides finishing touches: After the dismissal of Guptill in the 15th over, New Zealand needed someone to take on the mantle and get them a truly challenging total. Ross Taylor played the ideal innings on a slowing surface with a softened ball. He scored a 23-ball 36 including a couple of fours and a six. The effort saw New Zealand reach a sizable total of 180. ALSO READ: New Zealand book T20 World Cup 2016 semi-final berth, defeating Pakistan by 22 runs at Mohali

Sharjeel Khan lays brutal assault: In chase of 181, Sharjeel Khan employed the right means to go about it. He smashed everything in his zone and even attempted to smash some that were not in his zone, his efforts were met with a fair degree of success, as he raced away to a 25-ball 47. Adam Milne brought a close to the innings and the biggest New Zealand scare in the game by having him caught at point of a miscued slog.

New Zealand pull things back dramatically: The New Zealand bowlers did well to reign control back after the powerplay — where they got plastered for 66 runs while taking only one wicket. Mitchell Santner showed his class by removing Khalid Latif for three. He then removed Ahmed Shehzad from his misery by dismissing him for a 32-ball 30. Ish Sodhi bowled very accurately and did not let the batsmen too many scoring opportunities, as well, getting rid of an increasingly threatening Shahid Afridi. The fast bowlers in the end did not make a hash of what the spinners were stringing together either.

(Rishad D’Souza, a reporter with CricketCountry, gave up hopes of playing Test cricket after a poor gully-cricket career. He now reports on the sport. You can follow @RDcric on Twitter)