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T20 World Cup: From being on the brink to reserving a semifinal spot – how Pakistan’s fortunes modified in a matter of hours

For months now, the Pakistan cricket ecosystem has been making doomsday predictions. About brittleness of middle-order, in regards to the potential batting catastrophe if Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan get out early, in regards to the fielding, about Shaheen Afridi’s health, about Babar Azam’s captaincy, about this and that. “Boys are going to come back dwelling quickly,” was the lament.

One after the other, the opposite groups began to choke or lose when it mattered, and when South Africa have been surprised by the Dutch within the first recreation of the day, Pakistan discovered a path to ebook a semifinal spot. They took it by beating Bangladesh by six wickets with eleven balls to spare. From the brink of being eradicated Pakistan have been nicely and really again in World Cup rivalry. When Babar Azam walked in for pre-game coaching, Netherlands’ Tom Cooper would shout out, “Now be sure you win!” Pakistan would do this.

afridi sizzles
Shaheen Afridi’s health and kind had been a priority for Pakistan on this T20 World Cup, however he confirmed a glimpse of returning to his finest in opposition to Bangladesh, selecting up this career-best determine of 4 for 22.

He did drag his size again in opposition to South Africa, however right now the in-swinging yorker was again. The wicket of Mosaddek Hossain with a peach of a supply was only a mild reminder for his or her potential semifinal opponents – England or New Zealand – that the batters should now be prepared for his toe-crushers. Litton Das did pull Shaheen for a six, which was most likely the shot of the match, however the 22-year-old had the final chuckle. What was extra spectacular was Shaheen’s bowling within the loss of life overs. Three of the 4 of Shaheen’s wickets got here within the loss of life overs.

Gritty Shanto
Najmul Hossain Shanto (48-ball 54) scored his second fifty of the match. He took his time, however the acceleration by no means got here. After the early dismissal of Litton Das, Shanto and Soumya Sarkar (20) shared a 72-run partnership for the second wicket to put platform for Bangladesh. However they didn’t capitalize on the nice begin.

Bangladesh have been simply taking a look at a 150-plus rating when Shadab Khan once more delivered the sucker punch to an opponent within the center overs. With 180 runs in 5 matches, Shanto completed as Bangladesh’s main run-getter within the match.

The controversy

Shakib al Hasan’s dismissal was an absolute shocker of a call. The umpire had given him out lbw. Shakib instantly went for the DRS. There was a transparent inside edge, and the bat was above the bottom when there was a spike.

Shakib Al Hasan dismissal. (Screengrab/Twitter)

The drama began when Shakib refused to stroll, he dawdled for a number of steps however then got here again. Solely after each, the umpires requested him to go did he reluctantly trudge away.

Do not breathe for Rizwan and Babar
Babar Azam (33-ball 25) ended his streak of single-digit scores however it was one other scrappy knock from the Pakistan skipper. Rizwan, alternatively, acquired a reprieve by Nurul Hasan behind the wicket, however his run from him a ball 32 was as streaky as the one six, he hit was in opposition to Taskin Ahmed. The duo placed on 57 runs for the opening wicket, their first fifty-plus stand within the match however it got here in 63 balls.

What was extra shocking is that Babar-Rizwan are usually not solely struggling to hit massive photographs however they’re additionally not in a position to rotate strike. Taskin troubled them with tempo, Mustafizur with variations and Nasum along with his sluggish left-arm spin. With no run-rate stress, it appeared Pakistan have been coasting however the contest was a nervy one after Nasum Ahmed (1/14) managed to get the breakthrough.

The left-arm spinner, who was good within the Powerplay returned within the eleventh over to finish Azam’s anxious keep. Ebadot Hossain then dismissed Rizwan within the subsequent over.

Haris and Masood to rescue

After his breathtaking 11-ball 28 in opposition to South Africa, Mohammad Haris confirmed he’s not a one-game marvel. The swashbuckling batter scored 31 (18 balls) at a brisk tempo and by the point he acquired out, Pakistan have been virtually there. In Haris and Iftikar Ahmed, each going for the glory, Pakistan misplaced two fast wickets within the fag finish, however Shan Masood (24 not out) made positive that there is no such thing as a twist within the story.

Transient Scores
Bangladesh: 127 for 8 in 20 overs (Najmul Hossain Shanto 54; Shaheen Afridi 4/22, Shadab Khan 2/30) misplaced to Pakistan: 128 for five in 18.1 overs (Mohammad Rizwan 32, Mohammad Haris 31; Nasum Ahmed 1/14 )

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