Pakistan have locked horns with New Zealand in the first semifinal of the T20 World Cup at the Sydney Cricket Ground. The clash has reminded the fans of the semifinal clash between the two nations, when they clashed in the knockout stages for the first time in 1992 at Eden Park Auckland.
The match had many similarities to the 2022 T20 WC clash. New Zealand was led by legendary cricketer Martin Crowe, while the Men in Green were led by former Prime Minister Imran Khan. Just like in this tournament, New Zealand was in their best form, topping the tables after defeating all teams in the round-robin format of the tournament, except Pakistan. New Zealand was the favourites against Pakistan in Auckland.
New Zealand started slowly, with scoring just 35 runs at the end of nine overs. The Kiwis then reduced to 87/3. However, skipper Crowe then played a masterful innings for the Kiwis, scoring 91 runs off 83 balls with seven boundaries and three maximums. When he got out, New Zealand were at 221/6. Pakistan at the end were given a target of 263 runs to chase in 50 overs.
Pakistan struggled in the chase at the beginning, as they were reduced to 133/3 in the 34th over. Imran Khan then promoted himself up the order to No. 3 but could not increase the run rate. Pakistan needed 142 at 7.15 per over at the 30th over mark. However, it was Inzamam ul Hag who changed the game for the Men in Green. His 60 runs off 37 balls helped Pakistan chase down the target. They won the match by four wickets.
Match recap: New Zealand 262-7 (Martin Crowe 91, Ken Rutherford 50; Wasim Akram 2-40, Mushtaq Ahmed 2-40) lost to Pakistan 264-6 in 49 overs (Inzamam ul-Haq 60, Javed Miandad 57no; Willie Watson 2-39) by four wickets