ICC T20 WC: Pakistan register fourth win on the trot, in semi-finals
Pakistan booked its place in the semi-final of the ICC T20 World Cup with a 45 run win over Namibia in its fourth straight triumph of the tournament.
At the Zayed Cricket Stadium, Pakistan after opting to bat posted 189 for two in their 20 overs and in their response Namibia finished on 144 for five in their 20 overs.
Earlier, Pakistan was well served by a fantastic opening stand between Mohammad Rizwan and captain Babar Azam. The two openers added 113 for the opening wicket. Eventually Azam fell for 70 off 49 balls with seven boundaries. On the other hand Rizwan finished unbeaten on 79 off 50 balls with eight boundaries and four sixes. Rizwan further added 67 runs for the third wicket with Mohammad Hafeez. The veteran Hafeez smoked 32 off just 16 balls with five boundaries. Namibia bowlers tried hard but could not exert any pressure.
In their response, Namibia were always behind the asking rate. Stephen Baard the opener shared a 47 run stand with former captain Craig Williams. The veteran batsman Williams finished on 40 off 37 balls but the asking rate kept climbing at all times. Experienced all-rounder David Wiese finished unbeaten on 43 off 31 balls with three boundaries and two sixes. But the target was well out of its reach as Namibia finished on 144 for five in their 20 overs. Pakistan's bowlers shared the wickets around and took complete charge of the match.
Pakistan: 189-2 (20)
Fall of wickets: 1-113 (Babar Azam-14.2 ov), 2-122 (Fakhar Zaman-15.4 ov)
Namibia: 144-5 (20)
Fall of wickets: 1-8 (Michael van Lingen, 1.3 ov), 2-55 (Stephan Baard, 8.4 ov), 3-83 (Gerhard Erasmus, 12.3 ov), 4-93 (Craig Williams, 13.6 ov), 5-110 (JJ Smit, 16.5 ov)
Result: Pakistan won by 45 runs
Match Analysis - Salim Parvez - Command & Control for Pakistan
In beating Namibia by 45 runs under the lights in Abu Dhabi, Pakistan have secured their place in the knockout stages of the T20 World Cup. By retaining their top position in Group B, their semi-final opponents are going to be either Australia or South Africa.
Pakistan riding high at present opted to bat first for their bowlers have not had to bowl second with a dew factor to content with, in this tournament. The team management that features Matthew Hayden and Vernon Philander as consultants, agreed not to test their bench strength though, leaving Pakistan to take the field unchanged thus far in fourth consecutive match.
Namibia did well to keep Mohammad Rizwan and Babar Azam down to 59-0 after 10 overs. The in-form opening pair Pakistan put their foot on the acceleration, straight after the drinks break and the score was doubled in the next five overs to look much healthier on 118-1. Babar (70) adapted well to the slow nature of the wicket and hit 7 fours in his 49-ball knock in an opening stand worth 113 in 14.2 overs.
Mohammad Rizwan speaks to the media after Pakistan wins by 45 runs
© ©ICC / T20 World Cup
Player of the Match - Rizwan remained unbeaten on 79 (50 balls, 8 fours, 4 sixes), having carried his bat in Pakistan’s total of 189-2 off 20 overs. There were no easy runs against disciplined bowling by Namibia for him till he opened his arms to smash 24 runs (4 6 4 4 4 2) off left-arm medium-fast – Johannes Smit – in the last over of the innings. His onslaught was watched with admiration by non-striker Mohammad Hafeez, who chipped in with an unbeaten 32 off 16 deliveries faced. The last five overs produced 71 runs.
Namibia reached 70-2 after 10 overs, which left them with a stiff equation of another 120 runs off 60 balls. The loss of Stephan Baard (29 at a run a ball) in the ninth over to a close run out was a touch unfortunate for he was sent back by his partner, Craig Williams (40 off 37 balls, 5 fours) who had slipped himself just before setting off for a second run. Pakistan catching and fielding both lacked intensity tonight with Shadab Khan and Shaheen Afridi, not at their best.
Taking guard on 83-3 in the 13th over, big-hitting all-rounder David Wiese was willing to take up the challenge but change of pace off the three fast men didn’t allow him to find his hitting zone. He hit a powerful six off Shaheen in the last over and would top-score with an unbeaten 41, in Nambia’s final total of 144-5. Nothing could change the end result though.
Namibia: Stephan Baard, Michael van Lingen, Craig Williams, Gerhard Erasmus (captain), David Wiese, JJ Smit, Jan Nicol Loftie-Eaton, Zane Green (wicket-keeper), Jan Frylinck, Ruben Trumpelmann, Ben Shikongo
Pakistan: Babar Azam (captain), Mohammad Rizwan (wicket-keeper), Fakhar Zaman, Mohammad Hafeez, Shoaib Malik, Asif Ali, Shadab Khan, Imad Wasim, Hasan Ali, Haris Rauf, Shaheen Shah Afridi
Toss: Pakistan, elected to bat
Venue: Zayed Cricket Stadium, Abu Dhabi
Start time: 1800 hrs UAE time
Match officials: Chris Brown, Chris Gaffaney (On-field Umpires); Paul Reiffel (TV Umpire); Richard Illingworth (Reserve Umpire); Jeff Crowe (Match-referee)
©Cricket World 2021