Pakistan registered a fine victory over Bangladesh in their fifth and final match of the Super 12s stage at the Adelaide Oval. The win helped Pakistan bag two more extremely crucial points which helped them March into the semi-finals alongside arch-rival India.
South Africa’s loss to Netherlands earlier in the day meant that the winner of the match between Pakistan and Bangladesh would seal a berth in the semi-finals. Bangladesh on the other crashed out of the tournament following their heartbreaking loss to Pakistan by 5 wickets. The team finished fifth in their group with 4 points in 5 games that they played.
Bangladesh won the toss and elected to bat first in the all-important match. Shaheen Afridi rocked the batting side early as he sent back an in-form Liton Das back early. Shanto along with Soumya Sarkar prevented the fall of any more wickets as they steered the innings forward. Despite the duo having stitched on a 50-run partnership, the low run rate was becoming a concern for Bangladesh.
The pressure created as a result soon had the better of the batters as Pakistan bowlers were able to dismantle the middle order totally by sending the batsmen back one after the other. Since the dismissal of Shanto for a scratchy 54 off 48 balls, Bangladesh could add just 36 off the last 7 overs. The team eventually posted a total of 127/8 in their 20 overs.
Pakistan in response started their run chase cautiously as both the openers played risk-free shots. The Babar-Rizwam duo for the first time in the tournament managed to register a 50-run opening stand as they provided their side with a positive start in the must-win game.
Bangladesh bowlers however didn’t let the batters have anything for easy as both the openers found it difficult to rotate the strike or go for the big hits at will. The rising required run rate soon made Babar Azam throw his wicket away as his innings full of struggles came to an end for a 33-ball 25.
Rizwan too made his way back in the next over after scoring a run a ball 32. Marcus Harris who featured in Pakistan’s batting lineup only in the previous game brought the momentum back in his side’s favour with some sublime big hits.
He got some able assistance from Shan Masood in the middle order. The duo ensured that Pakistan kept cruising towards win despite the regular obstacles. Pakistan eventually reached the target with 5 wickets remaining and 11 balls to spare and booked their place in the semi-finals of the World T20.
Pakistan shall finish as table toppers and face England in the semi finals in case India loses its final Super 12 match against Zimbabwe. Otherwise, the men in green shall finish second in their group and have to face New Zealand in the semi-finals.