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T20 World Cup, PAK vs NAM: Mohammad Rizwan, Babar Azam lead Pakistan to semi-finals with Namibia scalp


T20 World Cup: Mohammad Rizwan, Babar Azam take a run for Pakistan against Namibia.© AFP

Pakistan then became the first team to reach the 20-20 World Cup semi-final Namibia beat by 45 runs, featuring brilliant half-centuries of Mohammad Rizwan and Captain Babar Azam on Tuesday in Abu Dhabi. Rizwan finished with a slow-to-fast 50-ball 79 not out, while Babar carved his 23rd Twenty20 international fifty with a 49-ball 70 to beat Pakistan – who won the toss – and batted – to 189-2 in their 20 overs. . Namibia tried their best to match their opponents with David Wiese not 43 out and Craig Williams scoring 40, but Pakistani bowlers never allowed them a free hand as they scored 144-5 in 20 overs.

With four wins in as many matches, Pakistan became the first team to reach the last four of Group 2. This will be their fifth semi-final in the history of the 20-World Cup Twenty – the most by any team.

Williams struck out five boundaries and a six before taking out spinner Shadab Khan, while Wiese struck two sixes and three boundaries in his 31-ball kick.

Opener Stephan Baard scored 29.

But Rizwan and Babar were once again the stars, as if they were in Pakistan’s victory over arch-enemy India, which gave them a kick-off for the event.

The pair added 113 for the first wicket after Pakistan were slowly out of the blocks and scored just 59 in the first ten overs but ended up with a rush in the next ten and took 130 runs.

Veteran Mohammad Hafeez scored a nimble 16-ball 32 not out with five boundaries.

Pakistan’s total is the second highest in this tournament, behind Afghanistan’s 190-4 against Scotland in Sharjah.

Babar hit seven boundaries before taking out David Wiese in the 15th over, while Fakhar Zaman was cleverly caught by goalkeeper Zane Green for five.

Rizwan reached his tenth half with a six from Wiese in the 19th over before hitting four boundaries and a six to take 22 off JJ Smit’s last over.

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Rizwan’s battle included eight fours and four sixes.

Pakistan tackle Scotland next Sunday in their last match in Sharjah. Namibia will meet New Zealand, also in Sharjah two days earlier.

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