Pakistani cricketers are notorious for their unpredictability. They did the same in the first semifinal, where they played like champions and easily defeated New Zealand by 7 wickets and moved into the T20 World Cup final.
Sydney: Pakistani cricketers are notorious for their unpredictability. They did the same in the first semifinal, where they played like champions and easily defeated New Zealand by 7 wickets and moved into the T20 World Cup final. What a turnaround for this side! New Zealand was thoroughly defeated, now the celebrations begin in the dugout as well. Mohammad Rizwan was adjudged Player of the Match for playing a match winning knock.
Fortune plays a great role in every segment of life. Sports are not aloof from it. The Pakistanis move into the knockout stage due to sheer luck. The Netherlands’ unexpected victory over South Africa changed the complexion of the T20 World Cup. Pakistan was in a similar situation in the 1992 World Cup; due to good fortune, they reached the last four and later became the world champion.
The first semifinal match between New Zealand and Pakistan took place at the Sydney Cricket Ground in Sydney. At least on paper, both teams were almost parallel. Kane Williamson won the toss and elected to bat first. Since the start of the game, Pakistanis appeared to be in a positive mood.
Shaheen Afrid drew first blood and sent dangerous opener Finn Allen back to the hut. All the bowlers of Pakistan bowled superbly and never allowed the Black Caps to score runs freely.
New Zealand got off to a slow start, and most of the batsmen were bogged down by their opponent’s bowling. Skipper Williamson and Daryl Mitchell dealt with the Pakistani attacks bravely. Mitchell and Williamson scored 53 and 46 runs, respectively. Other than these two Kiwi batters, others failed to deliver as expected.
Notably, New Zealand crossed the 150 mark. The Green Machine held the Black Caps to 152 runs. The target for the Pakistani batters was 153 for playing in the final at Melbourne.
Both the Pakistani openers reached the pitch with a positive frame of mind. Skipper Babar Azam needed to score in the crucial match against the Black Caps because he had failed in all of his previous World Cup innings.
Babar and Rizwan provided a splendid platform for the team to go through the final. The pair knitted 105 runs in the opening stand. Both openers were calm and played their natural game, completing their half centuries.