Muscat, Nov 2
A brilliant opening partnership between Mohammad Rizwan and Babar Azam helped Pakistan outplay Namibia and confirm their spot in the semifinals of the ICC T20 World Cup 2021, in Abu Dhabi on Tuesday.
Rizwan and Babar put on an excellent 113-run partnership that negated the plans of the Namibian bowlers and set the launchpad for Rizwan to go big in the final overs.
The target proved too much for the Namibian batsmen as they fell short by 45 runs to hand Pakistan a handsome fourth consecutive victory.
Namibia as was expected started sluggishly and went at about five runs an over losing the early wicket of Michael van Lingen who was bowled by Hasan Ali. Stephan Baard who was going well and had kept the scoreboard ticking was run out for 29 in the ninth over as Namibia lost their second wicket.
Namibia were really up against it as they were going at a run rate of over 6 when the required rate was over 13 at the 11-over mark.
Gerhard Erasmus was out after playing a little cameo of 15 runs holing out to Shadab Khan off Imad Wasim as Namibia slipped to 83/3.
Shadab then claimed the wicket of Craig Williams as the Namibians were in deep trouble at 93/4.
Haris Rauf then snuffed out JJ Smit in the last ball of the 17th over as Namibia were staring down the barrel at 111/5.
RIZWAN, BABAR HEROICS
Earlier, Rizwan and Babar took the game away from Namibia with their supremely well-constructed knocks. They started off really slowly scoring at around 5 runs an over inside the powerplay.
But the duo really took off after that going after the Namibian bowlers at will. Rizwan’s 79 included eight boundaries and four sixes in the 50-ball innings while Babar’s 70 off 49 balls comprised seven fours.
The highlight of the Pakistan innings was the 20th over where Rizwan smashed 24 runs off the last over that included a six, four boundaries and a two.
Namibia were left with a herculean task of chasing 190 against a potent Pakistan bowling line-up.