Sharjah. Pakistan thrashed Scotland in their final match of Group 2 of the Super 12 stage of the ICC T20 World Cup here on Sunday with a scintillating performance by bowlers followed by half-centuries from skipper Babar Azam (66) and veteran Shoaib Malik (54 not out off 18 balls). Big win by 72 runs.

Pakistan finished on top with 10 points after winning all five matches of the Super 12 stage to face Australia in the semi-finals on November 11 in Dubai. The second semi-final will be played between New Zealand and England in Abu Dhabi on November 10. While Pakistan won all their matches, Scotland ended the tournament losing all their matches.

Pakistan, after a restrained 47-ball half-century from Azam, finally posted a mammoth total of 189 for four with ‘Man of the Match’ Malik hitting six sixes and a four. The team added 77 runs for the loss of one wicket in the last five overs due to the storm of Malik.

Despite a half-century from Richie Barrington (54 not out, 37 balls, four fours and a six), Scotland scored 117 for six. For him, only two other batsmen, George Munsey (17) and Michael Leask (14) could reach double digits.

Shadab Khan bowled well for Pakistan, taking two wickets for 14 runs while Shaheen Shah Afridi, Harris Rauf and Hasan Ali got one wicket each. Malik’s aggression can be gauged from his 26 runs in the last over in which he hit three sixes and a four off Chris Greaves (2 for 43).

In this way he joined KL Rahul (50 off 18 balls against Scotland) to score the fastest fifty in the tournament. This was also Azam’s fourth fifty in this tournament. He faced 47 balls and hit five fours and three sixes in his innings. He became the third batsman after former Australian opener Matthew Hayden (2007) and Indian captain Virat Kohli (2014) to score four half-centuries in the T20 World Cup.

Mohammad Hafeez contributed 31 runs. Azam and Hafeez then put on a 32-ball 53 partnership for the third wicket when the team was recovering from a slow start. Malik came to the crease after Hafeez was dismissed off the last ball of the 15th over, who became the second victim of Greaves after skipper Azam returned to the pavilion.

Electing to bat after winning the toss, Pakistan’s opener Mohammad Rizwan (15 runs from 19 balls) was having some trouble in the beginning as the team could only add 35 runs in the powerplay. Rizwan was out in the very next over.

Fakhar Zaman (08) did not perform well in this match as well and he could not stay at the crease for long. He was caught at a cow corner in an attempt to play Greaves’ delivery, leaving the team at 59 for two.

The team had scored 60 runs for two wickets in 10 overs. Hafeez (four fours and a six in 19 balls) came in and hit some brilliant boundaries and played his captain well, but Azam and Malik’s batting helped Pakistan add 129 runs in the last 10 overs.

Chasing this difficult target, Scotland initially did not seem to present a challenge anywhere. His score in the powerplay was 24 runs for one wicket and 41 runs for two wickets in 10 overs. But after this, Barrington and Michael Leask (14) shared a 32-ball 46 for the fifth wicket and increased the team’s run-rate. In the end, Barrington, batting well, completed his half-century and took the team past 100 runs.(Language)

Akash Gokhe

By Akash Gokhe

Akash is the Founder and Writer of the Sports Platform website. He conceived the idea of starting a Sports Platform website to channelize his love, passion, and emotions for the game of cricket and to connect other like-minded people on the platform.

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