Pakistan beat New Zealand by seven wickets in yesterday’s ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2022 first semi-final match at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG). With a dominating performance, Pakistan reached their first T20 World Cup final since 2009.
Bowling first after losing the toss, Pakistan came up with an excellent effort to restrict the Kiwis to 152/4. Shaheen Afridi got his team off to a perfect start, trapping Finn Allen (4) leg before with a full and straight delivery in the first over of the match. Devon Conway hung around for his 21, but fell on the last ball of the powerplay. While looking for a quick single, he was run-out by a direct hit from Shadab Khan.
Having lost two early wickets, New Zealand were hoping for another big effort from Glenn Phillips. But it wasn’t to be as the in-form batter chipped a simple return catch to Mohammad Nawaz, having made only 6.
New Zealand captain Kane Williamson and Daryl Mitchell added 68 runs for the fourth wicket. However, while Mitchell (53* off 35) scored at a swift pace, Williamson (46 off 42) again failed to accelerate. He was eventually cleaned up an Afridi slower ball, completely missing his scoop shot.
Despite two big hitters in Mitchell and Jimmy Neesham (16* off 12) at the crease, New Zealand couldn’t find boundaries at the death. The side only managed 29 runs in the last three overs, even though they did not lose a wicket.
Chasing 153, New Zealand needed early scalps. Trent Boult created the opportunity in the first over, forcing a nick out of Babar Azam. However, Conway could not hold on to a tough low catch despite a dive. It was just the kind of luck the Pakistan skipper needed.
Babar (53 off 42) and Mohammad Rizwan (57 off 43) went on to add 105 runs for the opening wicket. With this stand, they became the first pair to register three 100-plus partnerships in the T20 World Cup. More significantly, they batted New Zealand out of the match.
While Babar struck seven fours in his knock, Rizwan hit five boundaries. After both of them perished to Trent Boult, Mohammad Haris (30 off 26) played another fine cameo to lift Pakistan towards victory. They got over the line in 19.1 overs to confirm their place in the final at the MCG on Sunday, November 13.
Who won Man of the Match in NZ vs PAK T20 World Cup 2022 match?
Afridi once again stood out with the ball for Pakistan. He did not allow New Zealand to settle, first dismissing the dangerous Allen and then returning to send Williamson on his way. Both Babar and Rizwan were clinical with the bat. Having failed in the earlier matches, they rose to the challenge in the knockout game.
For the Kiwis, Mitchell scored an impressive half-century, repeating his feat from last year. This time, though, his knock went in vain. Boult claimed two wickets with the ball, albeit a little too late.
Rizwan was named Player of the Match for his fifty in a match-winning cause that put Pakistan in the T20 World Cup 2022 final.