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T20 World Cup: Clinical Pakistan thrash New Zealand to keep dream of ’92 alive

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President, PM laud Green Shirts for “incredible comeback” to reach T20 WC final

SYDNEY, (Parliament Times): As Babar Azam and Co sneaked into the T20 World Cup semi-final, Pakistan fans started likening the team’s run Imran Khan and his team had during the 1992 World Cup. And it seems the dream is alive as Pakistan thrashed New Zealand to secure a place in the final just like they did during the 1992 World Cup’s semi-final. The win means Pakistan will be playing their third T20 World Cup final since the tournament started in 2007.The Black Caps had set a 153-run target for Pakistan which the Men in Green chased down with ease. Before this game, everyone had questions about the opening pair of the team and it seems the 105-run partnership between skipper Babar Azam and wicket-keeper-batter Mohammad Rizwan should end the debate. It was in the 12th over that New Zealand dismissed Babar for 53 to end the partnership. At that point, Pakistan required 47 from 43 balls. But by then, the Men In Green had already gained much ground. Rizwan and Mohammad Haris kept the scoreboard ticking until the wicket-keeper-batter was dismissed via run out at 57.

Haris was caught at short fine leg on the last ball of the 19th over. Right in the next over, Pakistan won the match by seven wickets.The Men In Green will now face either England or India — who will face off today. Earlier, Daryl Mitchell’s half-century helped New Zealand set a 153-run target after New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson opted to bat first.Pakistan were off to a flying start when they confined New Zealand at 49/3 at the end of the eight overs. But a 68-run partnership between Kane Williamson and Mitchell brought New Zealand back into the game. The partnership was looking threatening for Pakistan and had it continued New Zealand may have needed a higher total. However, Shaheen dismissed Williamson in the 17th over to stop New Zealand’s charge. However, Mitchell along with James Neesham helped the Black Caps end the innings at 152/4. For New Zealand, Mitchell was the highest scorer and remained unbeaten for 53.

Meanwhile President Dr Arif Alvi and Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Wednesday appreciated the Pakistan cricket team over their victory in the semifinal against New Zealand to reach the final contest of the T20 World Cup. “Well done Team Pakistan for an incredible comeback,” the prime minister tweeted after the green shirts booked their place in the final at Melbourne Cricket Ground opposite India or England, as the two are set to clash on Thursday in the second semi-final.The prime minister also mentioned three traits of “passion, commitment and discipline” as a reference to the driving force behind the victory of the Pakistan cricket squad. “Well played Pakistan,” President Alvi also tweeted and particularly eulogized the “excellent performances” by Shaheen Afridi, Babar Azam, Muhammad Rizwan and Haris.

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