It’s amazing how #Pakistan’s plans are coming together as they advance to their first #T20 World Cup final in 13 years. #Babar and #Rizwan, the opening duo that has been scrutinised so much, rose to the occasion today by scoring fifty each. Once again, their bowling was outstanding as they held New Zealand to 152. On a sluggish pitch, though, that number might have been challenging if their issues at the top had persisted. However, the pair got them off to a flying start and calmed the fears, putting an end to all that chatter. Boult and Southee went for a lot of the new ball, showing that New Zealand wasn’t quite up to par.
The Costly fielding errors for New Zealand? As was already mentioned, up to the Super 12s, New Zealand had the best fielding percentage in the competition. Unfortunately for them, they missed 3 catches and a few run-outs tonight, which only made matters worse as Babar Azam (dropped on 0) took advantage of the opportunity to compile his best World Cup score and create a 100-plus partnership with Rizwan (making them the first pair to have three 100-plus stands in T20 WCs). They dropped 3 and held 19 catches (before the semis).
Mohammad Rizwan | Player of the Match: “The fifty was, fortunately, in the semifinal. Although Babar and I were having trouble, we kept at it and had faith. We kept squabbling. We made the decision to start attacking the new ball bowlers as soon as we reached the boundary line. We were aware that one of us had to bat deep after the powerplay since the pitch was challenging. Although we didn’t have a strong tournament start, the guys never lost hope”.
Williamson: “We were put under pressure early. Pakistan bowled very nicely. We managed to wrestle back some momentum with an unbelievable knock from Mitchell. At the halfway stage we were feeling it was a competitive total. Wicket was a bit tough – used surface. Very disappointing to not make Pakistan work a lot harder. They were outstanding. We were outplayed. It’s a tough pill for us to swallow. Babar and Rizwan put us under pressure. If we’re honest, we wanted to be more disciplined in our areas. At the end of the day, Pakistan certainly deserve to be winners. There’s been a lot of good cricket. Throughout the round-robin, we’ve played nicely. Today we weren’t at our best. Having said that, we know the fickle nature of T20 cricket”.
Babar: “Thanks to the crowd. We feel like we’re playing at home. Got a good start with the first 6 overs with the ball. Later on the ball didn’t come on well. Fast bowlers finished well. We planned before going that we’ll utilise the powerplay. He’s a young guy and showing his aggression (Haris). He’s playing very well. We’re going to enjoy this moment. But at the same time have focus on the final”.
visit us on: www.thespeednews.com