How Pakistan Beat New Zealand To Qualify For The ICC T20 World Cup 2022 Finals
An all-round performance with the bat, ball and fielding secured Pakistan's ticket to the MCG for the finals of the ICC T20 World Cup 2022 on Sunday.
Pakistan are heading to the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) for the finals of the ICC T20 World Cup 2022, after beating New Zealand by seven wickets at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG). They became the first finalists of the tournament and will be facing the winner of the second semi-finals between India and England on Thursday.
During the start of the tournament, Pakistan made a rough start to the tournament, losing their opener against India at the MCG. It was followed by Zimbabwe's narrow victory by one run that dented their semi-final chances. But the Falcons made a sensational comeback to qualify for the semis and now, for the finals of the ICC T20 World Cup 2022.
The Falcons, who won their sole T20 World title back in England 2009, displayed an all-round performance on the pitch, dominating against the Kiwis to cement their place in the finals.
Bowling And Fielding Brilliance In The First innings
In a stadium dominated by Pakistani fans, Kane Williamson opted to bat first in Sydney after winning the toss for New Zealand. In the very first ball, Finn Allen beat Shaheen Shah Afridi's ball for four runs towards long on.
Shaheed replied in the very next ball, trapping Allen for an LBW and was declared out by umpire Marais Erasmus. But Allen asked for a DRS review and was declared not out due to bat involvement. This did not stop Shaheed as he again trapped Allen for another LBW in the very next ball and this time, the Kiwi opener had to return back to the pavilion.
Throughout the powerplay, the Pakistani fielders maintained tight control, helping the Pakistani bowlers to maintain economic overs.
Kane Williamson later started building a competitive target for New Zealand and received the support of Daryl Mitchell. Williamson fell short of his half-century and was bowled out at 46 by Shaheed Shah Afridi.
But Mitchell stood his ground and completed his half-century. It was his third T20 international 50 with today's knock also becoming his second 50 in an ICC T20 World Cup semi-final. He remained unbeaten until the end to help New Zealand finish the first inning at 152/4.
Also Read: ICC T20 World Cup: How The Underdog Teams Influenced The Semi-Finals
Headstart By Muhammad Rizwan And Babar Azam
Pakistan's opening duo of Muhammad Rizwan and Babar Azam provide the ideal start to Pakistan's run-chase, adding pressure on the Kiwi bowlers. Azam, the Pakistani captain was going through a rough patch of form and was only able to score 39 runs in the five matches he batted during the ICC T20 World Cup 2022 in Australia.
Keeping the words of Matthew Hayden's pre-match interview, Babar Azam's form made a sensational comeback, with the Pakistani captain completing his half-century. He also completed a dominating 100-run plus stand with Rizwan, helping Pakistan inch closer to victory.
Rizwan's Half-Century Brilliance
Trent Boult got the big breakthrough for Pakistan and got the wicket of the Pakistani skipper. Babar's well-fought inning came to an end at 53. But Rizwan kept his ground and went on to complete his half-century, receiving a grand reception of applause from the passionate Pakistani fans in the SCG.
Trent Boult struck again, this time ending the inning of Muhammad Rizwan at 57. But the Babar-Rizwan duo was able to help Pakistan inch closer to the target. Shan Masood and Mohammad Haris continued the run-chase before Haris was dismissed at 30 by Mitchell Santner.
Shan Masood remained unbeaten until the end and scored the winning runs for Pakistan as they beat New Zealand by seven wickets. With the win, the Falcons cement their place in the finals of the ICC T20 World Cup, providing an unforgettable moment for the Pakistani fans in the SCG stand.
With the victory, Pakistan became the first finalist in the ICC T20 World Cup 2022 and will be watching the next semi-final between India and England to confirm their opponent for the finals on Sunday at the MCG.
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