After scoring a 72-point win over Scotland in Sharjah on Sunday, Babar Azam said the team is confident in each other’s abilities and that playing together has helped them be consistent throughout the tournament. Pakistan recorded its fifth consecutive victory in the Super 12 stage.
After winning the draw, Pakistan opted to beat first, and opener Mohammad Rizwan (15) teamed up for a 35-point stand alongside Babar Azam before the first fell to Hamza Tahir in the seventh over. Fakhar Zaman, who came out to beat the number 3, couldn’t contribute much to Pakistan’s innings as he only managed 8 points out of 13 balls.
However, Mohammad Hafeez smashed 31 of 19 balls and accelerated innings in the middle overs before starting in the 15th over. Captain Babar Azam remained solid at one end and scored a 66-ball 47 before being sent off in the 18th over. At the end of the innings, Shoaib Malik stole the show as he smashed an undefeated 54 out of 18 and led his team to 189/4. Notably, Malik’s 54 to 18 ball is the fastest joint in the 2021 T20 World Cup. For Scotland, Chris Greaves pushed aside two wickets, while Hamza Tahir and Safyaan Sharif each took one wicket.
In pursuit of 190 lanes, Scotland was limited to 117/6 after a disciplined bowling performance by Pakistani spinners. Shadab Khan pushed aside two wickets to concede just 14 of his four overs, while Imad Wasim gave away just 17 points in his full share of overs. Pacers Hasan Ali and Shaheen Afridi took a wicket each and helped their team claim their fifth consecutive Super 12 win. For Scotland, Richie Berrington (54 * out of 37 balls) was the only warrior for his team.
Babar Azam said playing as a unit helped Pakistan play cricket consistently throughout the tournament.
“We are confident in each other’s abilities. We are playing as a unit and therefore play consistent cricket. We wanted to beat first. We couldn’t play well in the PP. Hafeez played well and so did Malik. He used his experience and he did. We played well towards the end. We were confident. We would like to continue with the same momentum. Dubai is one of the best stadiums. We also love the fans here and there. The way they come to cheer for us is amazing, “Babar said after the game. match.
Shoiab Malik, who was judged Man of the Match for his reckless fifty, said he would like to contribute more to the team’s success in the upcoming main event matches.
“As we have seen in previous games, if we don’t lose the wickets early, there is a chance to make a good total at the end and that was the talk in the locker room, to get to 150 and not give any early wickets. you are playing on a good track, so grab a couple of balls to get an eye on before you start attacking, but on these tracks you could take 6-8 balls, assess the conditions and then start playing your shots. a great thing , you get a lot of confidence going deep into the tournament. As for me, I am in good shape and I want to be more consistent that can help the team, still fit and it will be a great match (Semis) and we will do our best, “he said Malik after the match.
Pakistan will face Australia in the second semi-final in Dubai on 11 November.