Xtra Time Web Desk: An opening stand of 105 runs between captain Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan helped Pakistan in registering a seven-wicket win over New Zealand in the first semi-final of the ongoing T20 World Cup in Sydney on Wednesday. The Men in Green will take on either India or England in the final to be played at the MCG on November 13.
Batting first New Zealand had lost three key wickets for just 49 runs before Daryll Mitchell and Kane Williamson stitched a partnership of 68 runs. Mitchell went on the charge straightaway whereas Williamson played the second fiddle during their fourth wicket stand.
Williamson departed for 46 from 42 deliveries just when their innings entered the death over but Mitchell carried on and made his way to a superb knock of 53* from just 35 deliveries to help New Zealand cross 150.
For Pakistan, Shaheen Afridi was the pick of the bowlers with figures of 4-0-24-2 to his name. But the entire unit delivered a disciplined performance on a used track to restrict the Kiwis to a chaseable target.
Chasing 153 runs to win Babar and Rizwan put on a stand of 105 runs, with both batters making their way to well-deserved fifties. While Rizwan scored 57 from 43 deliveries, Babar made his way to a 42-ball kock of 53
Pakistan needed just 48 to win from 44 deliveries when their partnership came to an end and the middle-order finished the job off with perfection, chasing the target down with seven wickets and five balls to spare.
This is a tremendous comeback for Pakistan considering that they lost their first two matches in the Super 12. They bounced back from there, registering three wins on the trot, and made their way to the semi-finals. And now they are in the final having beaten New Zealand comprehensively.