You have to admire New Zealand. Their victory against Pakistan was a stunning effort in defending a small target. To make it even more impressive Ian Butler, the man entrusted with the final over, was playing his first match of the tournament. The celebrations at the end suggested they'd won the tournament, but the win has ensured they still have a chance to do just that.
He had the benefit of a recent positive memory against Pakistan after taking 4 for 44 in the Champions Trophy semi-final at the Wanderers. On that occasion he helped set-up victory, but this time he had to complete it.
The final over started with 12 needed and it was a series of six mini-dramas, each changing the momentum. The first four deliveries went dot, four, dot, four as Salman Butt, who held together Pakistan's faltering reply, slashed boundaries over short third man and through backward point. Crucially, though, he lost the strike with a penultimate ball bye which left Abdur Rehman on strike.
One run would have secured a Super Over and Daniel Vettori set an in-out field as he tried to cover his options. Rehman went for the victory blow but could only pick out deep square-leg who barely had to move. Butt sank to his knees while New Zealand players ran around like excitable children.
"You usually back yourself with 12 runs," Butler said. "I said to Hoppy [Gareth Hopkins] 'that's why we play the game', but after the four through point I was starting to doubt whether that was the case. As long as you keep yourself in the game death bowling is what you have to be good at."
Even before the tense last over Butler had played a vital role as he removed Misbah-ul-Haq and Shahid Afridi as Pakistan fell to 58 for 5. New Zealand's fielding earned them Afridi's scalp as Nathan McCullum recovered from a slight misjudgement at midwicket to take a superb catch diving forward at deep midwicket. It continued New Zealand's tradition of finding unlikely heroes.