T20 World Cup: Shoaib Malik hammers 18-ball 54 in Pakistan’s 72-run win, end Super 12 undefeated

It
was
the
tournament’s
joint
fastest
half-century
alongside
India
opener
K
L
Rahul’s
18-ball
50,
which
also
came
against
Scotland,
as
Pakistan
stopped
the
Scots
at
117
for
six
after
posting
an
imposing
189
for
four.

As
his
Indian
tennis
player
wife
Sania
Mirza
watched
from
the
stands,
Malik,
39,
blasted
six
sixes
during
his
whirlwind
unbeaten
knock,
which
overshadowed
skipper
Babar
Azam’s
fourth
half-century
of
the
tournament.

1

51704

Batting
first,
Pakistan
pummelled
129
runs
in
the
back
10
after
limping
to
60
for
two
at
the
halfway
stage.
With
the
ball,
the
in-form
team
did
what
was
expected
of
them
in
their
last
Super
12
engagement
to
set
up
a
semifinal
date
with
Australia.

Pakistan
blazed
their
way
into
the
last
four
with
five
wins
from
as
many
outings,
underlining
their
credentials
as
one
of
the
firm
favourites.
Thanks
to
Malik’s
blitz,
Pakistan
scored
43
runs
in
the
last
two
overs,
including
26
in
the
final
six
balls
bowled
by
Chris
Greaves.

Coincidentally,
it
was
at
this
very
venue
that
Malik
made
his
One-day
International
debut
in
October
1999,
against
West
Indies.
His
first
Pakistan
captain,
Wasim
Akram,
retired
from
the
game
nearly
two
decades
ago.
Meanwhile,
Babar,
who
once
again
donned
the
role
of
the
accumulator,
became
only
the
third
batter
to
score
four
half-centuries
in
a
T20
World
Cup
after
former
Australia
opener
Matthew
Hayden
and
India
captain
Virat
Kohli,
who
achieved
the
feat
in
2007
and
2014
respectively.

Having
struggled
to
60
for
two
at
the
halfway
stage,
Pakistan
got
129
runs
in
back
10.
Opting
to
bat
first,
Babar
Mohammad
Rizwan
were
off
to
a
sedate
start,
as
the
Scotland
bowlers
managed
to
keep
the
run
rate
below
six
until
the
power
play.

Having
smoked
Bradley
Wheal
for
a
gigantic
six
over
deep
mid-wicket,
Rizwan
was
dismissed
by
Hamza
Tahir,
who
drew
the
batter
with
a
tossed-up
delivery
before
getting
an
under-edge
to
the
wicketkeeper.

The
Scots
deserve
plaudits
for
the
manner
in
which
they
kept
a
lid
on
the
Pakistan
scoring
as
they
ended
the
power
play
at
35
for
no
loss,
which
became
35
for
one
in
the
first
ball
of
the
next
over
with
Rizwan’s
dismissal.

Pakistan
were
not
so
well
placed
at
60
for
two
at
the
halfway
stage
as
Scotland
managed
to
keep
their
opponents
to
a
run
a
ball.
However,
things
changed
completely
as
Pakistan
entered
the
back
10
with
both
Babar
and
the
veteran
Mohammad
Hafeez
(31
off
19
balls)
cutting
loose
to
clear
the
ropes
at
regular
intervals
during
a
brisk
53-run
third-wicket
partnership.

Babar
was
his
usual
classy
self
when
he
played
the
ball
along
the
ground,
but
at
the
same
time,
he
did
not
hesitate
to
go
over
the
top,
the
result
of
which
were
three
sixes.
After
Babar’s
dismissal,
the
show
belonged
to
Malik.

In
a
massive
chase,
Scotland
lost
the
wickets
of
skipper
Kyle
Coetzer
and
Matthew
Cross
with
just
36
runs
on
the
board.
Scotland
were
never
in
the
game
as
they
struggled
to
42
for
two
at
the
end
of
the
first
10
overs.
Richie
Berrington
was
the
lone
Scotland
batter
to
shine
with
a
54
ball
off
37
balls.

One
of
the
biggest
positives
for
Pakistan
bowling
was
the
manner
in
which
Shadab
Khan
(2/14)
bowled,
getting
his
googlies
and
leg-spinners
right
ahead
of
the
big
semifinal
against
the
Aussies.

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