Barbados: Fast bowler Ian Butler took a wicket off the final ball to give New Zealand a one-run win over defending champion Pakistan in the World Twenty20 Super Eights on Saturday. New Zealand's first win in the Super Eights kept the Black Caps in content_cnion for the semifinals.
However, Pakistan, after winning this competition last June in England, has lost both of its Super Eight matches and will struggle to make the semis.
Butler claimed 3-19 including Abdur Rehman, who holed out to deep square leg with Pakistan needing two runs for victory off the final delivery.
Left-handed opener Salman Butt anchored Pakistan with an unbeaten 67 off 54 balls but the defending champions were left agonizingly short at 132-7 off 20 overs. All-rounder Abdul Razzaq supplied three sixes in a run-a-ball 29.
Earlier, New Zealand captain Daniel Vettori topscored with 38 off 34 balls as the Kiwis totaled 133-7 off 20 overs.
Left-arm spinner Rehman (2-19), pacer Mohammad Sami (2-25) and legspinner Shahid Afridi (2-29) led the Pakistan attack.
Pakistan's pursuit struggled from the outset against the pace of Shane Bond (1-28), Kyle Mills (2-33) and Butler. Mills removed Kamran Akmal (5) and Umar Akmal (0) while Bond accounted for Mohammad Hafeez (8) as Pakistan dipped to 25-3. Butler, who opened with a maiden over, soon claimed Misbah-ul-Haq for 3 and skipper Afridi on 11 to put New Zealand in control at 58-5 in the 10th over.
Butt and Razzaq revived the Pakistan challenge with a sixth-wicket stand of 53. Razzaq blasted one four and three sixes, including two off a Vettori over that cost 16, to tilt the momentum. But he holed out to deep midwicket off Nathan McCullum's offspin to set up a tense finale.
Pakistan needed 22 off the final two overs and 11 off the final one with Butt, who hit eight fours and a six, leading the charge.
Butt smacked two fours off Butler in the final over and scrambled a bye off the penultimate delivery.
His partner Rehman could not get Pakistan past the finishing line, however, as he clipped Butler straight to deep square leg to the delight of the Kiwis.