Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan returned to form in some style as they struck their respective half-centuries and helped Pakistan defeat New Zealand by seven wickets in the first semi-final of the T20 World Cup 2022 in Sydney.
With the victory, the Men in Green have now entered their third T20 World Cup final as they booked their place for the summit clash on November 13 in Melbourne. Shaheen Afridi took 2/24 in his four-over spell as Pakistan restricted the Kiwis to just 152/4, eventually winning the clash with five balls to spare.
Speaking about how the first semi-final clash panned out, captain Kane Williamson won the toss and opted to bat first. Finn Allen smashed a boundary off the first ball against Shaheen Afridi but got dismissed on the third delivery at the individual score of just four.
Devon Conway got run out for 21 while skipper Kane amassed 46 off 42 with one four and as many sixes. The star of the tournament for the Black Caps, Glenn Phillips failed to score big as he fell for just six. It was Daryl Mitchell who slammed an unbeaten 53 off just 35 to take his side to a total of above 150.
In reply, the Babar-Rizwan show stunned the Kiwis as the duo finally arrived in the competition with a 105-run opening stand. Both got dismissed to Trent Boult for 53 and 57 respectively but it was too late for New Zealand to stage a comeback.
Mohammad Haris played yet another cameo of 30 runs off 26 balls to guide his side to the World Cup final. The in-form team of the tournament, New Zealand looked completely clueless against a spirited Pakistan side as they lost yet another semi-final of ICC events. For his match-winning and attacking fifty, Rizwan grabbed the Player of the Match award.
Meanwhile, here are some of the important stats and numbers from Semi-Final 1 between New Zealand and Pakistan in the T20 WC 2022:
2033 – Babar Azam reached the landmark of 2000 runs as a captain in T20Is. He became the second skipper after Aaron Finch (2236 runs) to achieve the feat.
353 – Babar also completed 350 fours in T20 internationals. He became the second batter after Paul Stirling (360) to do so.
3 – Babar and Mohammad Rizwan shared their third-century partnership in T20 World Cups, which is the most by any pair. Adam Gilchrist and Matthew Hayden, Alex Hales and Eoin Morgan, Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene, Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma, and David Warner and Shane Watson all shared two-century partnerships each.
5 – Pakistan have now beaten New Zealand five out of the seven times in T20 World Cups.
10 – Rizwan equaled Suryakumar Yadav at the top for hitting the most 50-plus scores (10) in T20Is in 2022.
18 – With their 18th win over New Zealand, Pakistan are now joint-top with England for most wins by a team against an opponent in the T20I format. The English side has also won 18 matches against Pakistan.
4 – Rizwan is now also joint-top with Jos Buttler and Sangakkara for the most 50-plus scores (4) by a wicketkeeper in T20 World Cups.
4 – Pakistan have now defeated the Kiwis in all four World Cup semi-final clashes (ODI & T20I). They beat New Zealand twice in ODI World Cups (1992 and 1999) and twice in T20 World Cups (2007 and 2022).
1 – For the first time since 2009, Pakistan have sealed a victory in a T20 World Cup semi-final. They lost to Australia in 2010, Sri Lanka in 2012, and the Aussies in 2021.
2 – For the second time since the start of the T20 World Cup 2021, Tim Southee has gone wicketless in a T20I. The other instance was against Australia in last year’s final.
11 – Rizwan is now joint-top with Mohammad Hafeez and Shahid Afridi for winning the most POTM awards (11) for Pakistan in T20 internationals.
28 – Pakistan are now tied with India in the second spot for most wins (28) in T20 World Cups. Sri Lanka top the chart with 32 victories.