Pakistan came up with a thumping victory against New Zealand in the 20-20 World Cup semi-final on Wednesday. The two openers, Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan, who had struggled throughout the tournament, finally got their form back with individual half-centuries.
Babar Azam scored 53 off 42, whereas Mohammad Rizwan played a match-defining knock of 57 off 43 balls. The duo stitched a 105-run partnership to lay the foundation for the run-chase. The two made a cakewalk of the run chase as they thwarted New Zealand’s challenge with a 7-wicket win in the end.
Following the win, Former India player, Wasim Jaffer heaped praise on Babar and Rizwan for their strong comeback.
“A lot of debate was going on for their slow play and both the batters haven’t been scoring enough runs in the powerplay. But they have put their best foot forward in the game that mattered. Rizwan scored, Babar scored, and they (Pakistan) will be happy that their captain has come in form. Rizwan has been on and off in terms of run-scoring. He was brilliant in the Asia Cup and it (Pakistan) will be a happy camp if Rizwan starts contributing,” Jaffer told on BatBricks7 presents ‘Run Ki Runneeti show’ on CricTracker.
Jaffer was also impressed with Pakistan’s middle order after the inclusion of Mohammad Haris in the playing XI.
“Their middle order is playing well with Mohammad Haris has come good in three games after Fakhar Zaman’s injury. Those were the X-factor innings after changing the momentum in a short span. Shan Masood, Iftikhar all these guys have performed and the missing thing was the opening partnership. The runs from them have come now and that is a good sign for Pakistan from batting perspective,” he added.
Pakistan have now qualified for the 20-20 World Cup final. India, meanwhile, will have to beat England to reach the final. The Men in Blue will clash with England in the semi-final on November 10th at Adelaide. The winner of the match will play against Pakistan in the 20-20 World Cup final on November 13th.