T20 World Cup, PAK vs NZ: Pakistan swat aside New Zealand to seal the final berth
Pakistan players celebrating a dismissal [Source: AP]
Riding on a disciplined bowling performance and a stupendous effort from the openers, Pakistan crushed New Zealand by seven wickets in the first semifinal of the ongoing T20 World Cup in Sydney. The Men in Green stormed their way through to the final with this clinical win.
Daryl Mitchell masterclass powers New Zealand to a respectable total
Batting first, New Zealand suffered an early setback, losing explosive opener Finn Allen in the third delivery. Soon, Shadab Khan hit the bull's eye to get rid of Devon Conway, who looked good for his 20-ball 21. Glenn Phillips couldn't do much this time, falling prey to Mohammad Nawaz for six.
Daryl Mitchell in action [Source: AP]
However, skipper Kane Williamson held the fort, well-supported by Daryl Mitchell at the other end. While Williamson rotated the strike perfectly for a 42-ball 46, Mitchell hammered three fours and one six for his fabulous 35-ball 53*. Pakistan bowlers kept it tight in the slog overs, as New Zealand posted 152 for four wickets in 20 overs.
Openers' brilliance leads Pakistan to a thumping win
Chasing 153, Pakistan were off to a flier, courtesy of a sensational opening stand of 105 runs between Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan. While Babar regained his mojo, slamming an elegant 42-ball 53, Rizwan smashed five fours for his blistering knock of 57 runs.
Babar slammed a scintillating fifty [Source: AP]
After both got out, Mohammad Haris played a match-winning cameo of 30 runs to help Pakistan get over the finish line with five balls to spare.
New Zealand must blame their bowlers for the horrendous defeat, as they lacked penetration. The seamers focused too much on variations; the spinners were short of guile. However, Pakistan emerged as the better team across departments and thoroughly deserved to progress to the final.
New Zealand: 152/4 (20)
Daryl Mitchell 53* (35), Kane Williamson 46 (42);
Shaheen Afridi 2/24 (4), Mohammad Nawaz 1/12 (2)
Pakistan: 153/3 (19.1)
Mohammad Rizwan 57 (43), Babar Azam 53 (42);
Trent Boult 2/33 (4), Mitchell Santner 1/26 (4)
Pakistan won by seven wickets.