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Pakistan Cricket team beat Namibia to reach T20 World Cup semi-final


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ABU DHABI:– Opening partnership (113) for Pakistan between Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan helped Men in Green to crush Namibia in their fourth match of International Cricket Council (ICC) Twenty20 World Cup at Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi on Tuesday.

Pakistan became the first team to qualify for the Twenty20 World Cup semi-final with a comfortable 45-run win over Namibia . However, Rizwan has been declared man of the match.

The Namibian side first lost an early wicket in the second over as Hasan Ali dismissed Michael van Lingen (4), and later, in the ninth over, Stephan Baard was run out for 29.

In the 13th over, skipper Gerhard Erasmus was caught out (15) shortly after Shaheen Shah Afridi had dropped his catch in the previous over. Craig Williams was caught out in the 14th over, but he played a decent innings as he scored 40 runs off 37 balls.

Earlier, skipper Babar Azam and fellow opener Mohammad Rizwan hit half-centuries to guide Pakistan to 189-2.

Babar notched his 23rd Twenty20 international fifty with a 49-ball 70 while Rizwan finished with a 50-ball 79 not out.

The pair added 113 for the first wicket after Pakistan were slow out of the blocks, scoring just 59 in the first ten overs but ended with a flurry in the next ten, taking 130 runs.

Veteran Mohammad Hafeez scored a brisk 16-ball 32 not out with five boundaries.

Pakistan’s total is the second-highest in this tournament, behind Afghanistan s 190-4 against Scotland in Sharjah.

Pakistan top Group 1 with three wins in as many games and a victory here will see them become the first team to qualify for the semi-finals.

Babar hit seven boundaries before he holed out to David Wiese in the 15th over while Fakhar Zaman was smartly caught by keeper Zane Green for five.

Rizwan reached his tenth half-century with a pulled six off Wiese in the 19th over before hitting four boundaries and a six to take 22 off JJ Smit s final over.

Rizwan s knock included eight fours and four sixes. Speaking after the toss, Pakistan skipper Babar Azam confirmed the Men in Green had not made any changes to the squad.

Rizwan and Babar had earlier upped the ante on Namibia, as they became the only duo to score 1,000 runs in T20 in a calendar year, as the Pakistani skipper smashed a half-century, his 14th — breaking Indian captain Virat Kohli’s record of 13 half-tons.

Mohammad Rizwan was given out leg before wicket (lbw) before a successful review by Pakistan showed the ball had pitched outside the leg stump, granting the Pakistani batsman a new lease of life.

Pakistan got off to a shaky start as the Namibia bowlers did not stray from their line and length much.

The match was started at 7pm Pakistan Standard Time (PST).Earlier, Pakistan won the toss and elected to bat first against Namibia.

Babar Azam said he wanted to test the batters against Nambia after he won the toss and elected to bat first at Abu Dhabi.

“We have not changed our squad […] we want to test our batters and that is why we have decided to bat first,” the skipper said after he won the toss.

Azam, in a video shared by the International Cricket Council (ICC), had earlier said the team could not afford to be complacent at any stage in the T20 World Cup ahead of the Namibia clash.

Pakistan have played three matches (India, New Zealand and Afghanistan) and won all of them. However, they also need a win match against Namibia to confirm their place in semi finals from group two.

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