Shoaib Malik
Shoaib MalikIANS

T20 World Cup: Pakistan finish Super-12 matches with 72-run win over Scotland

Sharjah, November 7, 2021

Pakistan finished their Super 12 matches in the ICC Men's T20 World Cup with a 72-run win over Scotland at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium here on Sunday.

After Babar Azam (66 off 47 balls), Shoaib Malik (54 not out off 18 balls) and Mohammad Hafeez (31 off 19 balls) took Pakistan to 189/4, Pakistan restricted Scotland to 117/6 in 20 overs.

George Munsey began by taking two boundaries off Shaheen Shah Afri'i's first two overs. Kyle Coetzer had a boundary off Imad Wasim but was bowled by Hasan Ali in a wicket-maiden final over of Power-play. Post Power-play runs began to dry as Pakistan began to exert pressure on Scotland.

Scotland were dealt with a strong blow as Matthew Cross was run-out at the non-striker's end with Wasim getting a hand on the ball on a straight drive from Munsey. In an attempt to break free, Munsey tried to attack Shadab Khan but sliced to short third man in the 11th over. Two balls later, Khan had another wicket as Dylan Budge was bowled by a googly.

Though the result was a foregone conclusion, Scotland tried to delay the inevitable. Michael Leask had a 41-run stand with Richie Berrington for the fifth wicket. The partnership broke when Afridi clean bowled Leask in the 16th over.

Berrington, the lone warrior for Scotland, smashed two more boundaries and reached his half-century with a brace off Ali. But it wasn't enough as Pakistan ended their Group 2 campaign with an all-win record.

Earlier, contrasting half-centuries from Babar Azam (66 off 47 balls) and Shoaib Malik (54 not out off 18 balls) took Pakistan to an imposing 189/4 in their 20 overs.

While Azam was classy in his fourth half-century of the tournament, Malik was ruthlessly dazzling in his half-century, joint fastest of this event alongside India's K L Rahul against the same country.

Mohammad Hafeez chipped in with an important 19-ball 31, providing some momentum in the middle overs.

After electing to bat first, Pakistan had a brisk start in power-play, collecting 36 runs. Azam slammed a four each off Bradley Wheal and Safyaan Sharif while Mohammad Rizwan smashed a six over cow corner off Wheal. A struggling Rizwan (15) was first to fall, under-edging to keeper Matthew Cross off leg-spinner Hamza Tahir on the first ball post Power-play. Three overs later, Fakhar Zaman holed out to deep mid-wicket off Chris Greaves.

Azam continued with his run-making spree, sharing a 53-run stand with Hafeez (31) for the third wicket. Hafeez was severe on pacer Sayfaan Sharif, pulling him over wide long-on for a six followed by successive fours in the 15th over. But Sharif had the last laugh as Hafeez missed the pull and was trapped plumb lbw.

Azam reached his half-century with a single off Tahir in the next over. After he slammed Tahir down the ground for a six, he went on to whack Mark Watt over long-on for another six. Shoaib Malik joined the party by tonking Watt for a lofted six over extra cover. Azam's knock was brought to an end by Chris Greaves, holing out to long-on in the 18th over.

Malik then launched a stunning exhibition of late-overs hitting in the last two overs. After slamming two massive sixes over long-on off Sharif, Malik carted Greaves for a six and four over deep mid-wicket followed by another six over long-on. He finished off the innings with another six over deep mid-wicket to amass 26 runs off the last over of the innings.

Brief scores: Pakistan 189/4 in 20 overs (Babar Azam 66, Shoaib Malik 54 not out, Chris Greaves 2-43, Hamza Tahir 1-24) beat Scotland 117/6 (Richie Berrington 54 not out, George Munsey 17, Shadab Khan 2-14, Shaheen Shah Afridi 1-24) by 72 runs


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