Babar, Malik, Shadab keep Pakistan's unbeaten streak alive in World Cup.
Pakistan 189 for 2 in 20 overs (Babar Azam 66, Shoaib Malik 54*; Chris Greaves 2/43) defeat Scotland 117 for 6 in 20 overs (Richie Berrington 54*; Shadab Khan 2/14) by 72 runs
Table-toppers of Group 2, Pakistan walked into the game, having already qualified for the semis without getting their fans get into a chaotic calculation of net run rate. Scotland with their fate decided, aimed to register their first victory in the Super 12 stage and end their T20 World Cup 2021 campaign on a winning note.
Fortuitous Pakistan won the toss and got a stronghold of the game as they chose to bat first on a pitch that has so far favoured the target-setting side.
Pakistan managed 35 runs in the powerplay
Going by the same playing eleven, Babar Azam and Mohammed Rizwan opened the batting for Pakistan. They got off to a slow start managing just 14/0 in three overs and started opening their hands from the 5th over onwards when Bradley Wheal went for 14 runs.
Pakistan lost their wicket after getting 35 runs in the powerplay when Hamza Tahir, who replaced Calum Macleod trapped Rizwan at 15 runs. New batter Fakhar Zaman came at third down after Rizwan’s dismissal. Scotland bowlers controlled the noose of Pakistan’s innings, not allowing them to go above 6 runs per over. They even got the second breakthrough as Chris Greaves dismissed the southpaw Fakhar Zaman for just 8 runs and Pakistan’s scoreboard read 60/2 after 10 overs.
New batter Mohammad Hafeez came to the middle and quickly got off the mark in the 11 th over. Hafeez flamboyantly scored runs at ease against Scotland and registered a 50-run partnership with the skipper in no time in the 15 th over. However, he was dismissed off Safyaan Sharif’s delivery leg before wicket after scoring 31 runs off 19 balls.
On the other end, skipper Babar Azam batting in a well-composed temperament got to his 4th half-century of the tournament. He picked a single of Tahir Hamza’s delivery in the 16th over, to reach the 50-run mark, followed by hitting a flat six over his head in the same over.
Pakistan were 124/3 after 16 overs with Shoaib Malik at 4* and Babar Azam at 57* still on the crease.
Shoaib Malik leads Pakistan’s total to 189/4 in 20 overs
The duo escalated the run flow by switching their gears and accumulated 15 runs off Mark Watt’s over. However, their flourishing partnership came to an end when Babar Azam got caught at long-on off Chris Greaves’ delivery in the 18th over. Pakistan skipper scored a brilliant 66 runs off 47 balls as Pakistan lost their third wicket at 142 runs in 17.3 overs.
However, Shoaib Malik took over the command from there and scored a quickfire 50 runs off just 18 deliveries. He went on a punishing spree and ransacked Scotland bowlers in the final overs. He scored 17 runs in the 19th over, followed by 26 runs off the 20th over. He banked on his experience and led Pakistan’s score to 189/4 in 20 overs with a glorious 54* run knock.
Scotland’s unsuccessful quest for a good start
Chasing down 190 runs in 20 over was a possibility and for that Scotland needed a good brisk start. But their innings went just in the opposite direction after getting off to a slothful start. Both the openers George Munsey and Kyle Coetzer failed to pick the length pitched by the Pakistani bowlers and hence failed to get a much-needed good start. They managed just 24 runs in the powerplay at the loss of one wicket, that of the skipper Coetzer (9), who departed after a laborious stay at the crease.
Pakistan bowlers further gripped the game into their control by sparing less than 5 runs in the middle overs. Scotland’s situation started to worsen when Matthew Cross (5) got out in the most unfortunate manner. He got run out at the non-striker’s end as George Munsey hit a flat shot that touched bowler Imad Wasim’s fingers and then went on to slap the stumps.
Scotland’s struggle began to aggravate with time as the required run rate mounted on their batters and gave seemingly no chance to them to win the game. They were 41/2 after 10 overs and required 149 runs off 60 deliveries.
Just after drinks, Scotland lost another wicket, this time Shadab Khan removing Munsey for 17. Shadab also dismissed the new batter Dylan Budge for a duck and reduced Scotland to 43/4.
Richie Berrington’s 54* goes in vain
Richie Berrington remained Scotland’s highest scorer with an unbeaten 54* featuring four boundaries and a six. He took the side’s score to the 100-run mark, while getting no significant help from other batters. Due to his valorous knock, Scotland managed 117/6 in 20 overs and lost the match by a margin of 72 runs.
With this win, Pakistan maintained a winning streak in a T20 World Cup edition and became the first team to do so. They will now face Australia in the second semi-final at Dubai International Cricket Stadium on November 11.
Player of the match
Shoaib Malik lifted the player of the match award for his glorious 54* off just 18 deliveries. He helped Pakistan get 43 runs in the last two overs and post a mammoth 189 runs in 20 overs. He also scored the fastest fifty for Pakistan in T20Is.
Stats and Facts
- Babar Azam became the third batter to score four 50+ scores in a single T20 World Cup edition. Matthew Hayden (2007) and Virat Kohli (2014) are the only two other players to do so.
- Babar Azam now holds the record for most half-centuries (15) by a captain in T20Is.
- Shoaib Malik scored the fastest fifty for Pakistan in T20Is after hitting 54* off just 18 balls.
Here are some of the top twitter reactions from PAKvsSCO game: