Dubai: Luck finally smiled on Pakistan. It was indeed a ‘Super Sunday’ for the Green Shirts as they got another lifeline to qualify to semi-finals of the T20 World Cup 2022, thanks to Netherlands’ shock win over mighty South Africa. That result gave Pakistan a chance to remain alive in the tournament.
The Green Shirts lost to India and Zimbabwe in their Group B matches and almost lost their chance to make the last four but they came back strongly beating South Africa. However, they beat Bangladesh comprehensibly with five wickets and 11 balls to spare, to realise their dream to reach the semi-finals. It would not have been possible had Netherlands not stunned South Africa in the first match of Sunday. Pakistan also returned the favour and helped Netherlands qualify for the next T20 World Cup by beating Bangladesh.
Bangladesh could only score 127 runs in 20 overs with only 57 runs in the last 10 overs as Pakistani bowlers led by ace pacer Shaheen Afridi ripping through the tigers claiming four wickets for just 22 runs in his four overs.
Bangladesh also have themselves to blame with some sloppy fielding. Their keeper put down a straightforward chance on the third ball off Rizwan. There was chaos in the Bangladesh fielding with misfields, overthrows, no-balls and dropped catches.
They let Babar Azam and Mohamed Rizwan bat through the first 10 overs giving Pakistan a solid foundation while chasing a modest total. After Azam and Rizwan fell, Pakistan’s new sensation Mohammad Haris changed the game with a quick-fire 31 in 18 balls while left-hander Shan Masood ensured the winning shot.
Speaking at the post match ceremony, Pakistani skipper Azam said, “Cricket is a funny game. Appreciate all my team the way they played all matches. The pitch was not easy to bat on. Little bit two-paced. Rizwan and I decided to go long, but unfortunately didn’t work out. Haris showed aggression, good to see him play. Looking forward to the semifinals. All of us are excited to play.”
Player of the match Shaheen Shah Afridi said, “I am improving day by day. Not easy to bowl at 140 after coming back from injury. We have played good cricket in the last few games. Team needed me to bowl well.”
When asked whether you are looking forward to semi-finals, he said, “We are now looking forward to the final actually.”
Bangladesh skipper Shakib-ul-Hasan said, “We wanted to get somewhere around 145-150 that would have been a reasonable total on that pitch. But, with the new guys coming in, with the changes, this is the best we could expect. On my own performance, I could have done better.”