New Zealand booked a place in the final of the ICC Champions Trophy against Australia with a convincing five-wicket victory over Pakistan.
|Ross Taylor takes control for New Zealand [AFP]
An unbeaten 75 from New Zealand middle-order batsman Grant Elliott guided his side to victory at Wanderers Stadium after the Black Caps had earlier done well to restrict Pakistan to 233-9 after losing the toss and being asked to bowl first.
New Zealand reached their victory target for the loss of just five wickets with 14 balls to spare and will play Ricky Ponting's side in the final on Monday.
Elliott's 104-run partnership for the fifth wicket with captain Daniel Vettori took New Zealand to the brink of victory.
Vettori was stumped by Kamran Akmal off spinner Saeed Ajmal for 41 in the 47th over of the innings with his side just four runs short of victory.
Neil Broom struck the winning run to finish on three not out.
Things could have been very different if Pakistan captain Younis Khan had not dropped Elliott on 42, spilling an easy catch in the covers off the bowling Mohammad Aamer.
Elliott, 30, who was born in Johannesburg and only qualified to play for New Zealand in 2007, played a patient innings before cutting loose in the batting powerplay when he and Vettori added 55 runs.
Elliott hit five fours and a six in his 103-ball innings.
Ross Taylor and opener Aaron Redmond were the only other batsmen to score more than 20, with Taylor hitting a four and two sixes in his 38 and Redmond 31, with five fours, before scooping a catch back to Saeed Ajmal.
I Nazir c Taylor b Bond 28
K Akmal c Redmond b Butler 24
S Malik c Taylor b Butler 2
Y Khan c Taylor b Vettori 15
M Yousuf b Mills 45
U Akmal lbw b Vettori 55
S Afridi c McCullum b Butler 4
R Naved-ul-Hasan c Guptill b Vettori 8
U Gul c Broom b Butler 6
M Aamer not out 19
S Ajmal not out 14
Total (nine wickets; 50 overs) 233
Fall of wickets: 1-46 2-61 3-69 4-86 5-166 6-181 7-183 8-192 9-198.
New Zealand innings
B McCullum c Afridi b Aamer 17
A Redmond c & b Ajmal 31
M Guptill c Naved-ul-Hasan b Gul 11
R Taylor b Afridi 38
G Elliott not out 75
D Vettori st Akmal b Ajmal 41
N Broom not out 3
Total (five wickets; 47.5 overs) 234
Fall of wickets: 1-22 2-43 3-71 4-126 5-230.
Taylor was bowled by Shahid Afridi.
Ajmal was the pick of the Pakistan bowlers with figures of 2-39.
Earlier, Kiwi seamer Ian Butler took four wickets to help restrict Pakistan to 233-9.
Butler's first two overs went for 20 runs without success, but he struck in his third and fourth overs, having Shoaib Malik caught for 2 by Ross Taylor at first slip and Kamran Akmal held by Aaron Redmond on the cover boundary.
Butler later took the wickets of Shahid Afridi for 4 and Umar Gul for 6 to finish with 4-44 and reduce Pakistan to 192-8.
The only Pakistan batsmen to show any application were Umar Akmal, who hit 55 off 62 balls with seven fours, and Yousuf, who hit three fours to score 45 off 78 balls.
Umar Akmal and Yousuf added 80 for the fifth wicket before Yousuf was bowled off the inside edge by Kyle Mills when trying to run the ball down to third man.
Four more wickets fell for 32 runs to leave Pakistan on 198-9, but Aamer and Ajmal then added 35 off 5.4 overs.
New Zealand's fast bowlers came in for some punishment at the end of the innings. Shane Bond, who had applied good pressure with the new ball, conceded 22 runs in his final two overs to finish with 1-54.
Vettori dismissed Khan for 15, Akmal and Naved-ul-Hasan for 8 to finish with 3-43.