Clinical Pakistan reach T20 World Cup final after thumping win

  • Babar, Rizwan hit half-centuries as Pakistan overpower New Zealand's 153-run target
Published November 9, 2022

SYDNEY: A resurgent Pakistan declared Wednesday "the sky's the limit" as captain Babar Azam rediscovered his form to help power them past New Zealand in Sydney and into a Twenty20 World Cup final against either India or England.

Babar and Mohammad Rizwan got off to a flying start in pursuit of 153, putting on a 105-run opening stand in 12.4 overs to set up victory and a place in Sunday's showpiece at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.

If Babar had been under pressure after making just 39 runs in the tournament's Super 12 stage, he did not show it, reaching his fifty off 38 balls in front of 36,443 strongly pro-Pakistan spectators at the Sydney Cricket Ground.

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Rizwan's half-century followed, off 32 balls and they went on to become the first opening pair to post three century stands in T20 World Cup history before Azam fell for 53 off 42 balls.

Pakistan's seven-wicket win capped a remarkable comeback from the 2009 T20 World Cup winners who had been on the brink of elimination after last-ball defeats to India and Zimbabwe in their first two matches.

"The guys have worked hard and we have always believed," said Rizwan.

Pakistan beat the Netherlands and South Africa, but still needed the Proteas to choke against the Dutch for an unlikely lifeline, which they capitalised on by beating Bangladesh in their final Super 12 game.

'Go after the new ball'

"I don't think we have seen our best yet, which is probably the scarier part for whoever faces us," said former Australia opening batsman Matthew Hayden, who has been a mentor to the team.

"Sky's the limit. You can never beat down class."

The guys have worked hard and we have always believed: Mohammad Rizwan

Pakistan's bowlers set the tone after Babar lost the toss. Aided by some razor sharp fielding, they kept New Zealand to a below par 152-4.

Rizwan became the second wicket to fall with 21 still needed, but Mohammad Haris's 30 off 26 balls helped complete a deserved, if nervy, victory with five balls to spare.

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"Obviously, me and Babar decided to go after the new ball and the pitch was difficult," said Rizwan, who was named player of the match.

"When we finished the powerplay, the discussion was for one of the guys to go deep."

New Zealand, who topped Group 1, were aiming to make their second consecutive final, but their hunt for a maiden World Cup again fell short.

Teams batting first had won five from six games played in Sydney this tournament and when New Zealand captain Kane Williamson won the toss he had no hesitation in asking Pakistan to bowl, but it proved to be tough going.

In an eventful opening over, Finn Allen hit Shaheen Afridi for four off the first delivery then was given out the next ball lbw.

'Tough pill to swallow'

It was overturned on review because for Afridi to promptly do the same again and this time it was plumb.

Conway was run out for 21 by Shadab Khan and they suffered a big blow when Glenn Phillips was caught and bowled by Mohammad Nawaz for six.

Daryl Mitchell and Williamson took more risks after reaching the 10-over mark at 59-3, with the first six of the innings coming in the 13th over.

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Williamson fell on 46 to an Afridi yorker before Mitchell, unbeaten on 53, and Jimmy Neesham, who scored 16, added 29 runs in the final three overs.

"At the halfway mark we thought we had a competitive total but it was disappointing not to make Pakistan work harder," said Williamson, who saw his usually sharp fielding side shell a series of catchable chances, including Azam when on nought.

"It's a tough pill to swallow," he said.

"I think if we want to be honest, we wanted to be more disciplined with our areas. Like I said, Pakistan deserved to win."


Pakistan innings

That's it. Pakistan win it by 7 wickets to qualify for the T20 World Cup final.

Pakistan: 153/3 in 19.1 overs.

Pakistan: 151/3 in 19 overs.

WICKET: Haris departs for 28.

Pakistan: 145/2 in 18 overs.

SIX: Haris slogs it for a six.

Four: Haris finds the gap.

Pakistan: 132/2 in 17 overs.

WICKET: Rizwan departs for 57.

Pakistan: 127/1 in 16 overs.

Pakistan: 122/1 in 15 overs.

Pakistan: 113/1 in 14 overs.

50 up for Rizwan in 36 balls.

Pakistan: 109/1 in 13 overs.

Four: Mohammad Haris starts off with a boundary.

WICKET: Trent Boult gets Babar. He departs for 53.

Pakistan: 102/0 in 12 overs.

100 up for Pakistan in 11.4 overs.

Babar Azam brings up his fifty in 38 balls.

Pakistan: 97/0 in 11 overs.

Four: Babar thumps it over mid-wicket for another boundary.

Pakistan: 87/0 in 10 overs.

Four: Babar Azam glides Ish Sodhi through point.

Pakistan: 75/0 in 9 overs.

Pakistan: 68/0 in 8 overs.

Pakistan: 63/0 in 7 overs.

Four: Babar Azam batters it through the backward square.

Pakistan: 55/0 in 6 overs.

50 up for Pakistan.

Four: Babar Azam's top edge rolls down to the boundary.

Pakistan: 47/0 in 5 overs.

Four: Babar Azam joins the party. He slams Tim Southee through mid-wicket.

Four: Another boundary on the leg side.

Four: Rizwan slaps it through mid-wicket.

Pakistan: 32/0 in 4 overs.

Four: Babar Azam drives Ferguson for a boundary.

Pakistan: 24/0 in 3 overs.

Four: Rizwan cuts Boult over cover four another boundary.

Four: Rizwan glances Boult down the leg.

Four: Babar Azam cuts Trent Boult for a boundary.

Pakistan: 9/0 in 2 overs.

Pakistan 7/0 in 1 over.

New Zealand innings

New Zealand: 152/4 in 20 overs.

150 up for New Zealand

New Zealand: 144/4 in 19 overs.

Daryl Mitchell brings up his half-century.

Four: Neesham scores a boundary.

New Zealand: 133/4 in 18 overs.

Four: Mitchell pumps Naseem's slower ball over cover.

New Zealand: 123/4 in 17 overs.

WICKET: Shaheen Afridi gets Williamson. He departs for 46.

New Zealand: 116/3 in 16 overs.

New Zealand: 106/3 in 15 overs.

100 up for New Zealand in 14.3 overs.

Four: Mitchell scores a boundary off Wasim.

New Zealand: 99/3 in 14 overs.

Six: Williamson hits another six, this time to Shadab.

New Zealand: 90/3 in 13 overs.

SIX: Williamson wallops Mohammad Wasim Jr for a massive six.

New Zealand: 81/3 in 12 overs.

New Zealand: 73/3 in 11 overs.

Four: Mitchell pumps it straight to long-on. Another boundary.

Four: Mitchell cuts Shadab, and earns himself a boundary.

New Zealand: 59/3 in 10 overs.

New Zealand: 52/3 in 9 overs.

50 up for New Zealand in 8.2 overs.

New Zealand: 49/3 in 8 overs.

WICKET: Nawaz gets Glenn Phillips on the last ball of his over. He departs for 6.

New Zealand: 44/2 in 7 overs.

Four: Glenn Phillips cuts Shadab Khan for a boundary.

New Zealand: 38/2 in 6 overs.

WICKET: Bull's eye! Devon Conway run-out.

Four: Conway hits Rauf over cover for a boundary.

New Zealand: 30/1 in 5 overs.

New Zealand: 23/1 in 4 overs.

New Zealand: 19/1 in 3 overs.

New Zealand: 14/1 in 2 overs.

Four: This time, thumped to the leg side.

Four: Devon Conway belts it through mid-wicket.

New Zealand: 6/1 in 1 over.

WICKET: Shaheen Afridi traps Fin Allen LBW. He departs for 4.

Team updates

Both captains confirmed at the toss that they are going with an unchanged side in the all-important game.

Pakistan: 1 Mohammad Rizwan (wk), 2 Babar Azam (capt), 3 Mohammad Haris, 4 Shan Masood, 5 Iftikhar Ahmed, 6 Shadab Khan, 7 Mohammad Nawaz, 8 Mohammad Wasim Jr, 9 Naseem Shah, 10 Haris Rauf, 11 Shaheen Afridi

New Zealand: 1 Finn Allen, 2 Devon Conway (wk), 3 Kane Williamson (capt), 4 Glenn Phillips, 5 Daryl Mitchell, 6 Jimmy Neesham, 7 Mitchell Santner, 8 Tim Southee, 9 Ish Sodhi, 10 Lockie Ferguson, 11 Trent Boult


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samir sardana Nov 09, 2022 06:47pm
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