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Pakistan cruise into T20 World Cup final after beating New Zealand

Pakistan will continue their rollercoaster ride at the Twenty20 World Cup into the final after beating New Zealand by seven wickets in front of a raucous crowd largely made up of their compatriots at the Sydney Cricket Ground.

They will meet either England or India – who play on Thursday in Adelaide – in the November 13 decider at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.

Pakistan on Wednesday set the tone at the Sydney Cricket Ground with some razor-sharp fielding and disciplined bowling that restricted New Zealand to just 152-4.

In front of 36,443 strongly pro-Pakistan spectators, Rizwan (57) and Azam (53) took apart the Black Caps’ renowned bowling attack in a 105-run opening stand.

Despite a slightly nervy finish after both fell, Mohammad Haris’s 30 off 26 balls helped complete a deserved victory with five balls to spare.

“Obviously, me and Babar decided to go after the new ball and the pitch was difficult,” said Rizwan, who was named player of the match.

“When we finished the powerplay, the discussion was one of the guys to go deep. The guys have worked hard and we have always believed.”

READ MORE: Australia open to hosting cricket series with arch-rivals Pakistan, India

Bounce back

After agonising last-ball losses to India and Zimbabwe in the group phase, they bounced back to topple the Netherlands and South Africa.

Then against the odds they went through when the Proteas were stunned by the Dutch and Pakistan eased past Bangladesh.

New Zealand, who topped Group 1, were aiming to make the final for the second consecutive time, but their hunt for a maiden T20 title again fell short.

Pakistan last claimed the title in 2009 at Lord’s in England when they beat Sri Lanka by eight wickets, and it has been a rollercoaster ride in Australia to make another final.

READ MORE: More than 600,000 tickets sold for T20 World Cup in Australia

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