Pakistan ride luck to reach ICC T20 World Cup 2022 semis; Australia, South Africa booted out
After they had shockingly lost in a low-scoring match against Zimbabwe, their hopes to reach semi-finals of the ICC T20 World Cup 2022 looked all but over for Pakistan.
But as things turned out on Sunday, everything went in favour of the Asian team who became a surprise entry in the final four of the competition, ahead of stronger teams such as Australia and South Africa – teams that truly suffered for their poor performances in the group stage.
Pakistan began the 2022 T20 World Cup with a narrow, last-ball defeat at the hands of archrivals India in front of a packed Melbourne Cricket Ground on October 23 and their campaign suffered a massive blow in the second match when Zimbabwe defeated them by 1 run, to derail their campaign even before it could really get underway.
After they lost the first two matches, Pakistan were dependent on other teams whose outcomes would have favoured their advance into the semi-final round. As a matter of fact, everything went in Pakistan’s favour with the Netherlands shocking South Africa in the first match on Sunday which put Pakistan in the semi-final round, and even for a few hours, at the top of Group 2 in which India eventually finished at the top with their 71-run win over Zimbabwe later in the day.
It was indeed surprising to see things turning out in favour of Pakistan who are not really convincing in any of their matches apart from the one they played against South Africa at Sydney a few nights ago. The Pakistani side exposed South Africa’s shortcomings by aggressive batting and bowling, against which the African side had no response and a big victory by 33 runs propelled them further in the points table.
India were always favourite to reach the semi-final round and top spot in Group 2 was confirmed late on Sunday night when they hammered Zimbabwe by 71 runs to become the only team in the competition to have won 4 matches and recorded 8 points in the Super 12 stage, which also so heavyweights like Australia being booted out.
The defending champions were under tremendous pressure right after their 89-run hammering at the hands of New Zealand in the first game of the tournament on October 22, a loss from which they could never really recover despite thrashing Sri Lanka, Ireland and surviving a scare against Afghanistan along the way.
Perhaps, their washed out game against England, whose eventual victory over Sri Lanka booted Australia out of the tournament, might have given Australia a realistic chance to garner more points in the points table but weather has been cruel for some teams in this World Cup and they are left with nothing but some wounds to lick.
Pakistan will now have to face New Zealand in the first semi-final of the tournament on November 9 in Sydney, while on the next day the 2007 champions India will take on England in the second semi-final at the Adelaide Oval. The final of the competition will be played on Sunday, November 13 at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.