Pakistan continued their dominant run in the T20 World Cup 2021, thumping Scotland by 72 runs in Match 41 on Sunday in Sharjah.
With their fifth victory in as many games, Pakistan finished as the only side to remain unbeaten in the Super 12 stage. They will now face Australia in the second semi-final in Dubai on Thursday.
39-year-old Shoaib Malik hammered an unbeaten 54 off 18 balls as Pakistan posted an imposing 189 for 4 after winning the toss and batting first. Scotland never came anywhere close to chasing the target and struggled their way to 117 for 6 against some high-quality Pakistan bowling. Richie Berrington was the only Scotland batter to offer some assistance with an unbeaten 54.
Earlier, openers Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan began cautiously as Pakistan reached 35 for no loss at the end of the powerplay. Rizwan (15) perished immediately after, under-edging left-arm spinner Hamza Tahir behind the wickets. Fakhar Zaman’s poor run in the tournament continued as he perished for 8, following a failed attempt to take on Chris Greaves.
Pakistan were 60 for 2 at the halfway stage. Azam and Mohammad Hafeez featured in a third-wicket stand of 53 to steady the innings. In the 15th over, Hafeez clubbed Safyaan Sharif for a huge six over long-on and two more fours. There was some relief for the bowler, as he trapped Hafeez (31 off 19) lbw with the last ball of the over.
Azam reached a patient fifty off 40 balls and soon launched Tahir for a six over long-on. Looking for big hits, he holed out to long-on off Greaves after having made 66 from 47. Malik was on 17 off 10 at the end of the 18th over with Pakistan’s score at 164 for 4. The veteran cricketer then went berserk, clobbering five sixes in the last two overs.
In the penultimate over, Malik slammed Sharif for two sixes, one over deep midwicket and the other over long-on. Three more followed in the last over, bowled by Greaves, which went for 26. The maximum off the last ball, which was clobbered over midwicket, took Malik to a 18-ball half-century. Pakistan, who were 112 for 3 after 15 overs, looted 77 in the last five.
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Scotland batters struggle against fiery Pakistan
Scotland’s openers found the going tough against some quality Pakistan bowling. Kyle Coetzer was bowled for 9 off 16. Attempting to break the shackles, he tried to slog Hasan Ali but ended up heading back to the dugout.
Matthew Cross (5) was then run out in unfortunate fashion. George Munsey smashed Imad Wasim down the ground and the bowler managed to get a hand on the ball, which deflected on to the stumps. Backing up, Cross was caught out of his crease. Scotland crawled their way to 41 for 2 at the halfway stage.
Munsey’s struggles ended immediately after the break as he tried to take on leggie Shadab Khan and sliced a tossed-up delivery to short third man. Munsey walked back with 17 from 31 to his name. Shadab then cleaned up Dylan Budge (0) with a googly in the same over.
Shaheen Shah Afridi crashed through Michael Leask's defence for 14 as Scotland lost half their side for 87. Berrington scored a defiant half-century but Scotland still fell way short of the target in what was a measure of Pakistan’s dominance.
Pakistan vs Scotland: Who won Player of the Match in yesterday's T20 World Cup 2021 match?
Malik played a terrific knock, smashing six fours in his unbeaten 54. Azam (66) and Hafeez (31 off 19) also chipped in with key contributions.
When Pakistan bowled, Shadab ended with impressive figures of 2 for 14.
For Scotland, Berrington’s half-century gave their chase some respectability.
Malik was named Player of the Match for his blazing knock.
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