Johannesburg:A relieved man after his side made it to the title clash of the ICC Champions Trophy 2009, New Zealand skipper Daniel Vettori says it was the burning ambition of winning a big tournament that helped the Kiwis cross the semifinal hurdle.
New Zealand broke their big tournament semifinal jinx, beating Pakistan by five wickets in the second last four match of the Champions Trophy on Saturday night.
The Kiwis will now lock horns with traditional rivals and defending champions Australia in the final on Monday.
"There is a real ambition in the side. There's belief and desire to win tournament instead of just ending up as semifinalists," Vettori said after the victory.
"It's good that we came to this semifinals on the back of two good wins. We carried the momentum forward, it wasn't as if we scrapped to the semifinals," he added.
The Kiwi captain himself played a crucial role in his side's win against Pakistan with 41 runs and 3-43 spell, but he preferred to shower praise on Grant Elliot (unbeaten 75 off 103 balls) with whom he shared a match-winning 104-run stand for the fifth wicket.
"His (Elliott's) innings was full of character. He played a memorable knock," Vettori, who was also the man-of-the-match said.
Asked if the dropped chance of Elliott on 42 by Pakistan skipper Younis Khan actually turned the match in their favour, he said, "Possibly yes and no since we still had Kyle Mills and James Franklin in the pavilion."
Incidentally, New Zealand took the batting powerplay in the 43rd over and it proved to be a masterstroke decision as 55 runs came off the next five overs.
"We didn't want to leave it to the last minute. Pakistan were bowling well and were aggressive and we wanted them to back off a little bit," Vettori said.
Earlier, Kiwi bowlers let Pakistan off the hook with the last wicket pair of Mohammad Aamer and Saeed Ajmal putting on 35 runs to take their total to a respectable 235, but Vettori said it didn't worry him much.
"I told the boys that let's not get caught up in this. If their last pair could score as many runs then perhaps it's a good wicket to bat on," he said.