Extraordinary batting secures New Zealand victory over Pakistan

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The Independent Online

Extraordinary hitting with a cracked bat by New Zealand birthday boy Ross Taylor helped his team pile on an amazing 85 runs in 3.4 overs and help set up a 110-run World Cup win over Pakistan today.

Taylor was given two 27th birthday gifts, dropped on zero and eight off Shoaib Akhtar, before unleashing some of the most incredible slugging ever inflicted on an attack in a one-day international cricket match never mind the World Cup.

He thumped eight fours and seven sixes in his unbeaten knock of 131 scored off 124 balls in the Group A match, as New Zealand reached 302-7 from their 50 overs.

In response, Pakistan struggled from the off and at one stage were 66-6 and then 125-8.

But Abdul Razzaq, in at No 8, gave more than a modicum of respectability to Pakistan with a defiant 62 in a ninth wicket partnership of 66 with Umur Gul (34 not out). Pakistan were eventually all out for 192.

The only cloud on the New Zealanders' horizon was a knee injury to their skipper Daniel Vettori which left him unable to field for much of the Pakistan innings.