Pakistan’s charismatic batting duo, Babar Azam and Muhammad Rizwan, played breathtaking knocks on Wednesday to guide their side to the final of this year’s T20 World Cup. Pakistan thrashed New Zealand by wickets to secure their place in the final. They will now face either India or England for the coveted T20 World Cup trophy.
Batting first, New Zealand could only manage 152-4 in 20 overs with skipper Kane Williamson emerging as the top scorer. Williamson made 46 from 42 balls before being dismissed by Shaheen Shah Afridi, who finished with a spell of 2-24.
Pakistan began their run chase on an aggressive note as Rizwan and Azam began to hit Kiwi bowlers all around the Sydney Cricket Ground. Both added 100 runs for the first wicket. Rizwan was out for 53 from 42 balls with his knock including seven fours.
Rizwan, who became the second player after India’s Suryakumar Yadav to complete 1,000 runs in 2022 in T20 International matches, was out for 57 from 43 balls.
Muhammad Haris made a quickfire 30 from 26 balls. In the end, Pakistan scripted a seven-wicket victory over New Zealand with five balls to spare.
Trent Boult was the most successful bowler for New Zealand with a bowling spell of 2-33 in four overs.
Rizwan was declared Player Of The Match for his half-century.
Pakistan reaching the T20 World Cup final assumes significance given that they almost crashed out of the competition from the group stage. It was a shock defeat of South Africa by the Netherlands that had paved the way for Pakistan’s qualification to the semi-final.
This is the first time that Pakistan have reached a World Cup final in 15 years.
India and England will lock horns in the second semi-final on Thursday for a place in the final, which will be played in Melbourne.