Shaheen Afridi appeals successfully for the wicket of New Zealand's Tom Latham on Wednesday. Reuters
Jimmy Neesham and Colin de Grandhomme came to unbeaten New Zealand's rescue with a 132-run partnership to lift the 2015 World Cup finalist's total to 237-6 against Pakistan.
Left-arm seamer Shaheen Afridi (3-28) had helped reduce the Black Caps to 46-4 and 83-5, when Kane Williamson was out for 41.
Neesham finished on his highest ODI score, 97 not out from 112 balls. He hit five fours and three sixes, including smashing a six off the last ball of the innings.
Shaheen Shah Afridi (2L) celebrates with teammates after the dismissal of Ross Taylor at Edgbaston. AFP
De Grandhomme was run out, too slow against Mohammad Amir's throw while going for a second run, to finish on a 71-ball 64.
New Zealand narrowly chased down South Africa's 241-6 on the same Edgbaston wicket and this score, while it appears to be a sub-par total, could prove a nervy pursuit for seventh-place Pakistan in a must-win game.
New Zealand would advance to the last four with a win.
Pakistan fans pose for a photograph before the match. Andrew Boyers/ Reuters
If New Zealand win they will join title holders Australia in the semi-finals.
"The cloud is going to hang about a bit and it's cold. There might be a bit of swing but we'll have a bat," said Williamson.
"There was consideration to making some changes but we've kept it the same again. This is always a tough game. Pakistan are a very strong side but we are looking to build on our displays.
"Naturally the support that Pakistan have gives a great atmosphere, we are looking forward to it. Every game has similar feelings riding on it -- we are looking to play the Cricket we want."
Pakistan captain Sarfaraz Ahmed said he would also have chosen to bat first.
"Mohammad Amir is bowling very well. We put in a complete team performance last time but our catching is a concern. Pakistan can do anything, we go match by match."
Pakistan: Sarfaraz Ahmed (captain), Fakhar Zaman, Imam-ul-Haq, Babar Azam, Haris Sohail, Mohammad Hafeez, Imad Wasim, Shadab Khan, Wahab Riaz, Mohammad Amir, Shaheen Shah Afridi
New Zealand: Kane Williamson (captain), Martin Guptill, Colin Munro, Ross Taylor, Tom Latham, Trent Boult, James Neesham, Colin de Grandhomme, Mitchell Santner, Lockie Ferguson, Matt Henry
Umpires: Paul Reiffel (AUS) and Bruce Oxenford (AUS)
Match referee: Richie Richardson (WIS)
It was a superb display by the underdog Black Caps, who came into the match on the back of three straight defeats by Pakistan, Australia and England and only qualified for the semi-finals on net run-rate, while India topped the 10-team group stage.
Paceman Tim Southee missed out due to a calf injury as the Kiwis -- runners-up in the 2015 edition -- went in with two all-rounders in their starting line-up.
It is the first time England have reached this stage since 1992, when they made the last of their three losing appearances in the final.
After rain delayed Friday's scheduled start by 90 minutes, Pakistan were left with 60 minutes to bat in a morning session extended by half an hour until 1:30pm local.
The International Cricket Council had earlier announced that India will remain the hosts of the 2021 tournament while the postponed 2020 tournament which was to be held in Australia will now take place in 2023. Identifying backup venues is standard practice for any tournament.
Lionel Messi might never have been faced with a more daunting task at Barcelona than engineering a victory against Bayern Munich in Lisbon on Friday.