An opening stand of 105 runs between Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan helped Pakistan in setting the tone for their seven-wicket victory over New Zealand in the semi-final of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup in Sydney on Wednesday.
🗣 "The most important thing is we believe in each other."
Pakistan captain Babar Azam gives insight into his partnership with Mohammad Rizwan and their approach to the game 💬
— ICC (@ICC) November 9, 2022
New Zealand had lost three key wickets for just 49 runs when Mitchell joined skipper Kane Williamson at the crease. Mitchell went on the charge straightaway whereas Williamson played the second fiddle, as the duo put on a stand of 68 runs for the fourth wicket.
Williamson departed for 46 from 42 deliveries just when their innings entered the death over but Mitchell carried on and made his way to a superb knock of 53* from just 35 deliveries to help New Zealand cross 150.
For Pakistan, Shaheen Afridi was the pick of the bowlers with figures of 4-0-24-2 to his name. But the entire unit delivered a disciplined performance on a used track to restrict the Kiwis to a chaseable target.
Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan set the tone for Pakistan
Pakistan needed a steady start to chase the target down but they got much more than that as Babar and Rizwan put on a show to lay the base for their victory. The duo put on a stand of 105 runs, with both batters making their way to well-deserved fifties. While Rizwan scored 57 from 43 deliveries, Babar made his way to a 42-ball knock of 53.
Pakistan needed just 48 to win from 44 deliveries when their partnership came to an end and the middle-order finished the job off with perfection, chasing the target down with seven wickets and five balls to spare.
Pakistan take on either India or England in the T20 World Cup final at the MCG in Melbourne on November 13.
New Zealand captain Kane Williamson said,”We are gonna have a bat. This is a used surface, not much grass on it. We’re going with the same team. it’s the same pitch but different I reckon. It’s important we adjust to those changing conditions and assess quickly. There are a few unknowns, so it’s important that we stick to our plans. Our focus is on this game, what we want to do here and really try and express ourselves with the cricket that we’ve been playing.”
Pakistan captain Babar Azam said,” Even we would have batted first. We’ll try to take advantage of the early conditions and put pressure on them. Same team. We lost our first two matches but the way the team played in the last three games, we are confident as a team and we’ll look to carry that momentum forward. New Zealand have quality players, we’ll try to be calm and play according to the situation. We are trying to focus on this match.”