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Pak zoom into final
- NZ loss spells Lanka doom

Dambulla: Shoaib Malik hit an impressive 74 as Pakistan whipped New Zealand by 22 runs in a crucial match here on to join their opponents in the final of the one-day tri-series.

Needing 204 to win, New Zealand were comfortably placed at 160 for four before being dismissed for 181 in a dramatic collapse triggered by fast bowlers Shoaib Akhtar and Mohammed Sami.

Akhtar and Sami grabbed three wickets each after leg-spinner Danish Kaneria (three for 31) had done the damage in the middle overs in only his fifth ODI.

Sri Lanka failed to qualify for the final of a home tri-series for the first time in history.

New Zealand finished the round robin matches with 13 points from four games, followed by Pakistan (12) and Sri Lanka (11). Akhtar, Kaneria and Sami then built on Man-of-the-Match Malikís effort to fashion their teamís win with 11 balls to spare.

Kaneria removed Scott Styris (46), Chris Nevin (28) and Chris Cairns (28) to set Pakistan on course for victory before the two pacers finished the job.

Sami trapped Chris Harris (24) leg-before just when the batsman had threatened to take the match away from Pakistan with a 47-run stand for the fifth wicket with Styris. Malik, 21, was in the limelight in the morning session as he emerged the highest scorer of the tournament with his second half-century in 39 matches.

Put in, Pakistan were struggling at 61 for four before Malik played a vital innings. Debutant Yasir Hameed (25), Younis Khan (26) and Razzaq (23) also chipped in.

Malik, who put on 71 for the seventh wicket with Razzaq, set the stage for the closing-overs onslaught with his sensible 72-ball knock, which contained one six and eight fours.

Pakistan plundered 76 in the last 10 overs, with Akhtar hoisting Styris over long-on for a six during his unbeaten 22-ball 18.

They were off to a poor start losing openers Mohammed Hafeez (3) and Taufeeq Umar (2) in the space of two runs and five balls.

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