From being on bottom of the group to the WC Final, Pakistan beats New Zealand in the semi-final by 7 wickets
New Zealand had won the toss and elected to bat first while Shaheen Afridi was getting back from a serious knee injury at the start of the World Cup and got 2 for 24 in the semi-final in Sydney, striking in his first over by catching New Zealand opener Finn Allen lbw.
New Zealand had won the toss and elected to bat first. Shaheen Afridi was getting back from a serious knee injury at the start of the World Cup and got 2 for 24 in the semi-final in Sydney, striking in his first over by catching New Zealand opener Finn Allen lbw.
Pakistan’s clinical fielding in the circle helped cut off several shots and New Zealand was restricted to 38 for 2 in the powerplay. The second wicket was a result of a direct hit from Shadab to run out Conway.
If there was one period New Zealand can claim to have been on top, it was likely overs 11 to 14 of their innings. They’d been 59 for 3 at the halfway stage, desperately needing to get a move on.
Mitchell hit two fours off the 11th over, bowled by Shadab Khan. In the 13th over, Williamson hit the innings’ first six, smoking Mohammad Wasim over deep square leg, before Mitchell launched Shadab into the sightscreen in the 14th.
All up, they scored 40 runs in those four overs. They did not match that rate of scoring after that period.
New Zealand scored 152/4 at the end of their innings.
Trent Boult might have had Babar Azam in the first over when the batter scratched his first ball. However, a jumping Devon Conway could get the webbing of his gloves to the opportunity, and couldn’t make it stick.
In Boult’s next over, Pakistan’s openers kicked the innings up into high gear which it would remain for the duration of their stand. Babar crashed Boult through point before Rizwan looked him fine and then thumped him square on the offside as well, the pair taking 15 off that over.
Off Tim Southee’s second over, they took 15 again, Rizwan slamming him twice through midwicket before Babar cracked him through backward square leg.
The spinners gave New Zealand a little control, but the pair negotiated that period intelligently, rarely failing to find the boundary off the bad balls. By the end of the 12th, the required rate was just 6.37.
There was a slowdown after Babar and Rizwan were parted and a slight anxiety when Rizwan was out at the end of the 17th over, leaving Pakistan with 21 to get off 18 balls.
Mohammad Haris put Pakistan back on the smooth road to victory next over, however. He stepped back and drilled a Lockie Ferguson yorker wide of mid-off for four, before sitting back to hook him into the stands next ball.
He was out before the winning run came, but he’d made the game safe
“I thought Pakistan played nicely and then we managed to wrestle back some momentum. At the halfway mark we thought we had a competitive total but disappointing not to make Pakistan work harder [in the chase]. It’s a tough pill to swallow. Fielding was okay…but I think if we want to be honest, we wanted to be more disciplined in our areas. As I said, Pakistan deserved to win. Throughout the round-robin stages, we played nicely and today we weren’t at our best. Having said that, we know the fickle nature of T20 cricket,”says Kane Williamson.
“The way the team performed in the last three matches…. Thanks to the crowd, feels like we are playing at home. We had a good start in the first six overs and later on we had a good spin attack. The fast bowlers also finished very well. Our plan before going inside was to utilize the first six overs and later on everyone can come and chip in. I think he [Haris] is a young guy and showing his aggression. We will enjoy this moment, but at the same time we will focus on the final,”says Babar Azam.