Elliott shone with a broken thumb, says Kiwi captain

JOHANNESBURG, (Reuters) – Captain Daniel Vettori  praised Grant Elliott after he batted with a broken thumb to  lead New Zealand to a five-wicket win over Pakistan in  yesterday’s Champions Trophy semi-final.

The all-rounder needed an injection before anchoring New  Zealand’s run-chase with 75 not out off 103 balls.

Vettori said Elliott would need to have his thumb put in a  splint for six weeks when the tournament ended.

“Grant played an innings of such character. He had his thumb  injected and he couldn’t feel it and he just gutsed it out,”  Vettori told a news conference after the Kiwis reached their  target of 234 with 13 balls to spare.

“It was an outstanding 75 and he will be very proud of his  innings and I know the team is really proud of the way he  played,” the skipper added after New Zealand set up a final  meeting with Australia in Centurion tomorrow.

Left-arm spinner Vettori also turned in a fine all-round  performance, taking three for 43 and scoring 41 with the bat as  he helped Elliott put on 104 for the fifth wicket.
“My main mission as captain is to lead by performance,” he  said. “Sometimes the actual captaincy side of things is  overrated.
“It is about the team and how they perform. I think my team  will follow me if I perform.

KIWI BELIEF

“We have not played well lately, until this tournament. But  there is a belief in this team now.”

Vettori was confident about New Zealand’s chances in the  final.
“We know Australia will play well and we know they have  great players but we have to think about what we are going to  do,” he said.

“Hopefully the team that has played for the last three games  turns up and gives us a chance of winning.”

Pakistan captain Younus Khan blamed his team’s defeat on a  poor batting display.
After winning the toss and electing to bat Pakistan could  only muster 233 for nine in 50 overs.

“Our batsmen got a couple of good starts but were not able  to cash in. Yet again in this tournament we did not take  advantage of our powerplays,” said Younus.

“Daniel’s all-round performance was fantastic. He makes a  real difference to the New Zealand team.”

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