Shaheen Afridi
Pakistan’s Shaheen Afridi celebrates the dismissal of the Netherlands’ Stephan Myburgh during ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2022 Super 12 Group 2 match at the Perth Stadium, Australia, October 30, 2022. Image Credit: ANI

Perth: Pakistan kept their T20 World Cup semi-final hopes alive on Sunday by cruising to a first win of the tournament.

Pakistan hammered the Netherlands by six wickets in Perth, reaching their target of 92 off just 13.5 overs to boost their net run rate, crucial in a tight Group 2.

Pakistan restricted the Netherlands to 91-9, and then cruised to 95-4 with Mohammad Rizwan making 49.

Irish Eden Belleza/Gulf News

Pakistan need to win their remaining matches against South Africa on Thursday and Bangladesh in a week’s time and need other results to go their way to have any chance of securing a semi-final place.

“Very happy. Performed very well in the bowling and in the batting,” said Pakistan captain Babar Azam.

“In my opinion we could chase better than this. But a win always gives you confidence. We’ll try to do our best in the next matches and win.”

It was the bowlers who set up victory for a Pakistan side that lost their opening Super 12 match to India and then suffered an upset defeat to Zimbabwe.

SPO_221030 RIZWAN-1667144526542
Pakistan's Muhammad Rizwan plays a shot during the ICC men's Twenty20 World Cup 2022 cricket match between Pakistan and Netherlands at the Perth Stadium on October 30, 2022 in Perth. (Photo by Trevor Collens / AFP) / -- IMAGE RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - STRICTLY NO COMMERCIAL USE -- Image Credit: AFP

Man of the match Shadab Khan took 3-22 as Pakistan dominated a Dutch side, who are now out of the semi-final running after a third straight defeat.

“I have bowled against a few of their players in county cricket, so I know how they play,” said Shadab.

“All our bowlers bowled well. The fast bowlers put pressure on in the powerplay, and I took wickets because of the pressure that built.”

Last-ball drama

Earlier in Brisbane, Bangladesh secured a dramatic last-ball win over Zimbabwe, aided by opener Najmul Shanto’s maiden half-century and Taskin Ahmed’s three wickets.

Victory pushed Bangladesh to four points in Group 2 with two games remaining, level with India who lost to South Africa in Perth later on Sunday. The Proteas top the table with five points, followed by India and Bangladesh. Then come Zimbabwe on three, Pakistan on two with the Netherlands in the basement with no points after three games.

Only the top two in the group will qualify for the semi-finals.