T20 World Cup’22, NZ vs PAK: Pakistan 153 for 3 (Rizwan 57, Babar 53, Boult 2-33) beat New Zealand 152 for 4 (Mitchell 53*, Williamson 46, Afridi 2-24) by seven wickets
Pakistan, who earlier in the tournament lost to Zimbabwe and barely made it to the semis thanks to Netherland’s unlikely victory over South Africa, have stormed into the 2022 Men’s T20 World Cup final with a near-perfect performance.
In this game, so many good things about the Pakistan team came together. With a vicious inswinger third ball, Shaheen Afridi caught Finn Allen in front and took his wicket in the first over. Their seamers kept the innings under control at the tail end, allowing only 53 runs in the final six overs—something they have consistently done well throughout the tournament.
After holding New Zealand, who struggled to find boundaries, to 152 for 4, their openers reemerged in spectacular form. Babar Azam struck 53 off 42 balls, beating spinners down the ground and whipping quicks through square leg after being dropped in the first over. Even more impressive was Mohammad Rizwan’s 57-ball 43 as the pair added 105 for the first wicket.
As Pakistan lost their openers, there was a slight stutter toward the end and a slight slowed down. But the chase was foolproof thanks to Babar and Rizwan. With five balls remaining, they made it there.
Pakistan dominate the death
At 99 for 3 toward the finish of the fourteenth over, New Zealand weren’t precisely flying, however given the capability in their middle order, they might have had a score more than 160 in their sights. Pakistan’s quicks varied their speed, bowled skillfully to their fields, and were beautifully supported on the field, where Pakistan excelled this evening. In the final six overs, New Zealand only managed three fours and relied on hard-run twos, led by Daryl Mitchell.
Rizwan and Babar take New Zealand’s quicks down
When Babar nicked his first pitch in the first over, Trent Boult could have had him. Devon Conway, however, could only get the chance through the webbing of his gloves, and he was unable to make it stick.
Pakistan’s openers kicked the innings into high gear in Boult’s next over, where it would remain for the remainder of their stand. Boult was hit by Babar through the point, but Rizwan caught him off guard and slammed him square on the offside as well, giving the two teams 15 off that over. They took 15 more off Tim Southee’s second over. Rizwan hit him twice through midwicket before Babar hit him through backward square leg.
New Zealand had some control from the spinners, but the pair handled that time well and rarely missed the boundary off bad balls. The required rate was just 6.37 percent at the end of the 12th.
Williamson and Mitchell provide a sliver of hope
Overs 11 to 14 of New Zealand’s own innings are probably the only time they can claim to have been ahead. At the halfway point, they were 59 for 3 and desperately needed to move on. Shadab Khan bowled the 11th over, and Mitchell hit two fours. Before Mitchell launched Shadab into the sightscreen in the 14th over, Williamson hit the innings’ first six, smashing Mohammad Wasim over deep square leg. They totaled 40 runs in those four innings. After that time, their scoring rate did not match that.
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Haris eases Pakistani nerves
After Babar and Rizwan parted ways, there was a slowdown and a little unease when Rizwan left at the end of the 17th over, leaving Pakistan with 21 off 18 balls. However, Mohammad Haris put Pakistan back on the right track to victory in the next match. Before sitting back to hook Lockie Ferguson into the stands with the next ball, he backed away and drilled a yorker wide of mid-off for four. He had won the game, even though he was out before the winning run.