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Opting to bat, Pakistan were off to a sedate start with just 59 runs on the board at the halfway mark, but the opening duo of skipper Babar Azam and Rizwan ended up adding 113 runs to propel their team to 189 for two in the ‘Super’ 12 match.
“It was difficult to start off. We had difficulty understanding the conditions early on, hitting too was difficult. so the plan was to take the game deep,” Rizwan, who was adjudged ‘Man of the Match’ for his 50-ball knock said.
He credited senior batter Mohammad Hafeez for his cameo of 32 from 16 balls, which allowed him to settle down before going for the kill in the final over, which yielded 24 runs.
“Initially the shots were not coming. I just had to bide my time. I had to wait for the opportunity and Hafeez bhai gave me the momentum so I could take off in the final over.”
The 2009 champions are now in the semifinals, having won four matches on the trot.
The player of the match @iMRizwanPak 👏 #WeHaveWeWill | #PAKvNAM | #T20WorldCup https://t.co/RH3p2274vC
— Pakistan Cricket (@TheRealPCB) 1635876197000
“All the boxes are ticked for the tournament, and now I think we are in with a fighting chance,” he said about their chances.
Earlier, Pakistan skipper Babar surprised many with his decision to bat after winning the toss.
The match against the associate nation was an opportunity to rest one or two of the regulars, but Babar went for an unchanged XI.
The skipper said he wanted to test their batting and it all worked as they ticked the boxes going ahead.
Four out of Four! 🙌Congratulations Pakistan, a dominant performance has confirmed a semi-final spot!!… https://t.co/QpTuhKnRep
— Pakistan Cricket (@TheRealPCB) 1635875047000
“It was a different plan today, wanted that opening partnership to go deep and it worked for us. Two good players in Hafeez and Hasan Ali, they’ll be important in the next stage and it was important we ticked those boxes,” said Babar.
“There was some dew that didn’t help with the fielding, but that’s not an excuse; we need to be better. Everything has gone according to plan. We are looking forward to the semifinals and playing our cricket with the same intensity.”
Namibian skipper Gerhard Erasmus said they were well aware of Pakistan’s strengths.
#SpiritofCricket – Pakistan team visited Namibia dressing room to congratulate them on their journey in the… https://t.co/ngdJeqLDL2
— Pakistan Cricket (@TheRealPCB) 1635881306000
“We knew from the start that Pakistan are high quality; they look like title contenders. We knew we would have to compete hard and I thought we did that for quite a while,” said Erasmus.
“Pakistan were outstanding with their shot-selection and their quality showed through the back end of the innings.”
The skipper, who had a sore finger, added: “Finger’s sore but you have to get through, it’s a real milestone for cricket in Namibia.”
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