Sydney [Australia], November 9 (ANI): Following his side's seven-wicket win over New Zealand in the first semifinal of the ICC T20 World Cup, Pakistan skipper Babar Azam lauded bowlers for their performances, saying that the start during the first six overs and finishing by fast bowlers was great.
Star batters Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan found form at the right moment, smashing key half-centuries to help Pakistan cruise into the final of the ICC T20 World Cup after defeating New Zealand by seven wickets in the first semifinal at the Sydney Cricket Ground on Wednesday.
"Thanks to the crowd. We feel like we are playing at home. Got a good start with the first 6 overs with the ball. Later on the ball did not come on well. Fast bowlers finished well. We planned before going that we will utilise the powerplay. He is a young guy and showing his aggression (Haris). He is playing very well. We are going to enjoy this moment. But at the same time have focus on the final," said Azam in a post-match presentation.
Opting to bat first, New Zealand posted 152/4 in their 20 overs. Left struggling at 49/3 in eight overs, skipper Kane Williamson (46 off 42 balls) built a 68-run stand with all-rounder Daryl Mitchell, who scored a valuable 53* off 35 balls consisting of three fours and a six. Mitchell and James Neesham (16*) helped their side achieve a defendable total on a slow surface.
Pacer Shaheen Afridi was the pick of the bowlers for Pakistan, taking 2/24. Spinner Mohammad Nawaz also took a wicket.
Chasing 153, Pakistan openers Babar Azam (53) and Mohammad Rizwan (57) found form at a perfect time. Both hit valuable half-centuries and added 105 runs for the first wicket in 76 balls.
Mohammad Haris also played a key knock of 30 off 26 balls after Trent Boult dismissed both openers. But Pakistan finished the match with seven wickets in hand and five balls to spare.
Rizwan got the 'Man of the Match' for his half-century.
Men in Green will play either India or England in the final of the tournament.
Brief Score: New Zealand 152/4 (Daryl Mitchell 53*, Kane Williamson 46; Shaheen Afridi 2-24) vs Pakistan: 153/3 in 19.1 overs (Mohammad Rizwan 57, Babar Azam 53, Trent Boult 2/33). (ANI)