Dubai, Nov 11 (IANS) Fantastic fifties by Mohammad Rizwan (67 off 52) and Fakhar Zaman (55 off 32) powered Pakistan to 176-4 against Australia in the second semifinal of the 2021 ICC Men’s T20 World Cup at the Dubai International Stadium, here on Thursday.
Apart from Rizwan and Zaman, Babar Azam (39 off 34) also made valuable contributions with the bat for Pakistan while Mitchell Starc (2/38) was the most successful bowler for Australia.
Asked to bat first, openers Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan gave Pakistan a flying start. Continuing their fine run of form, Babar and Rizwan played attacking cricket and took their team to 47/0 at the end of 6 overs.
During the powerplay, Rizwan got few chances as well. In the 3rd over, the opener went for a big hit off Glenn Maxwell and miscued it, but Warner, running backwards and watching the ball drop over his shoulder, couldn’t hold onto the catch and watched as it trickled away for four.
Pakistan had another lucky break off the final ball of that Powerplay, when Adam Zampa got his hands to what would have been a spectacular catch in the deep, but couldn’t hold on to remove Rizwan.
The leg-spinner Zampa finally gave Australia the much-needed break-through as the Pakistan captain fell off the final ball before the drinks break. Azam (39 off 34) looked to clear long on but failed and was caught in the deep, with Pakistan 71/1 after ten overs.
Babar’s wicket didn’t affect Rizwan and he kept on hitting boundaries at regular intervals. However, his partner Fakhar Zaman didn’t look in great touch at the other hand, and was playing run a ball innings. Rizwan, who was hit on the helmet, brought his half-century in the 14th over of the innings. It was his 11th T20I fifty, third of the tournament and 10th half-century in 2021.
With so many wickets in hand, the duo of Rizwan and Fakhar shifted gears and took Hazlewood to cleaners, scoring 21 runs in 17th over. However, Starc dismissed Rizwan in the first ball of the 18th over and the next batters Asif Ali and Shoaib Malik were also dismissed cheaply.
Australia blew hot and cold with their bowling as Cummins bowled an economical 19th over but Starc conceded 15 runs off the final over. Zaman showed his power hitting skills and hit Starc for two sixes and took Pakistan to 176/4 in 20 overs.
Pakistan – 176-4 in 20 overs (Mohammad Rizwan 67, Fakhar Zaman 55, Mitchell Starc 2/38) against Australia