Pakistan survive, South Africa squeeze past Kiwis

LONDON, June 9, 2009 (AFP) – Pakistan avoided following Australia out of the World Twenty20 on Tuesday while South Africa hammered home their position as favourites by successfully defending the format’s lowest ever total. Pakistan, the runners-up at the 2007 championship, had been defeated by England in their opening match and needed to beat the Netherlands.

Younus Khan’s men survived in style with an 82-run win at Lord’s to complete the second round Super Eights line-up.

South Africa, meanwhile, pulled off a one-run win off the last ball against fellow qualifiers New Zealand having made just 128-7.

Leg-spinner Shahid Afridi took four wickets for 11 – the fourth best return in all Twenty20 internationals – to star for Pakistan in their crucial Group B clash.

The Dutch, shock four-wicket winners over England in Friday’s tournament opener and with a better run-rate at the start, were chasing 176 but needed to make only 151 to deny Pakistan the minimum 25-run margin of victory required.

But Afridi, well supported by fellow spinner Saeed Ajmal (three for 20), sparked a collapse that saw the Dutch decline from 42 for one to 93 all out.

Pakistan wicket-keeper Kamran Akmal, who also made four stump