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New Zealand join Australia in Champions final

  • Story Highlights
  • New Zealand beat Pakistan by five wickets in Champions Trophy semifinals
  • Grant Elliott and Daniel Vettori steer Kiwis home at the Wanderers
  • New Zealand will play Australia in Monday's final of the 50 overs competition
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(CNN) -- Grant Elliott and captain Daniel Vettori combined to steer New Zealand into the final of the Champions Trophy with a five-wicket win over Pakistan at the Wanderers on Saturday.

Elliott signals victory for New Zealand who play Australia in the final.

Elliott signals victory for New Zealand who play Australia in the final.

Chasing a modest 234 for victory, Elliott (75 not out) and Vettori (41) put on 104 at better than a run a ball to see the Kiwis home with just over two overs to spare.

Man of the match Vettori went to Saeed Ajmal (2-39) at the death, but victory was by then assured after clinical hitting by the pair in the final powerplay.

New Zealand will play arch-rivals and defending champions Australia in Monday's final of the global competition.

Australia thrashed England by nine wickets in Friday's opening semifinal and might have been anticipating a final clash against World Twenty20 winners Pakistan.

But after batting first, Pakistan failed to perform with the bat and lost wickets at regular intervals to an excellent New Zealand attack.

Mohammad Yousuf and Umar Akmal put on 80 for the fifth wicket, but Ian Butler (4-44) and left-arm spinner Vettori (3-43) rattled through their lower order to frustrate attempts to set a more challenging target.

Akmal, the 19-year-old brother of wicketkeeper and opener Kamran Akmal, could have counted himself unlucky to be given out leg before wicket to Vettori and with Shahid Afridi swiftly dismissed by Butler the game was up for Pakistan.

New Zealand also made heavy weather of their reply and when Ross Taylor was bowled by Afridi for 38 they were struggling on 126 for four wickets.

But Elliott and Vettori combined in a measured stand and enjoyed some luck in the 40th over as captain Younus Khan dropped Elliott in the covers off paceman Mohammad Aamer when on 42.

Elliott struck the winning runs as New Zealand bid for their second win in the Champions Trophy, which is contested by the top eight cricket nations in the world, having won in 2000.

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