Pakistan beat New Zealand by 7 wickets in the T20 World Cup 2022 semifinal at the Sydney Cricket Ground, Australia. This is the first final they will play in 13 years. It was a big turnaround for Babar Azam and co, who just days ago were virtually out of the tournament, after shock loss to Zimbabwe.

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Black Caps skipper Kane Williamson won the toss and decided to bat first. Pakistan managed to keep the total at 152 after the top order struggled. With the exception of one runout miss, Babar and co’s fielding was fairly balanced. Shaheen Shah Afridi got them off to a good start by sending Finn Allen back to pavilion in the first over. Conway and Kane appeared to be in a determined stand until Shadab’s direct hit broke it, but Kane knew he had to bat through with the best playing enforcers. In a semifinal of the T20 World Cup, Daryl Mitchell (53) once again prevailed while Glenn Phillips (6) failed.

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After 10 overs, things did not look good for New Zealand, but during the drinks break, they came together and scored 28 runs off the next 13 balls to turn things around. They also pushed the ball into gaps and consistently scored twos to prevent any slowdown despite the lack of goals. The best bowler was Afridi, though the other players also displayed good discipline. Afridi sent back Williamson, just as the Black Caps were looking to accelerate the innings. However, Mitchell’s boundaries in death helped New Zealand finish at 152/4.

Pakistan, on the other hand, got off to an impressive start. Babar Azam took advantage of the lifeline that was provided to him after being dropped on the opening ball. Trent Boult and Tim Southee both leaked 15 runs each in the first two overs of the powerplay.

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With 55 runs scored and no wickets lost at the end of the powerplay, Pakistan had their best powerplay total of the competition.  Babar Azam then reached his first fifty of the tournament in 38 balls. Azam and Rizwan played freely and hit boundaries consistently.

By the time Pakistan lost its first wicket at 105, the rate had come almost to run a ball. Trent Boult sent back Babar Azam back to the pavilion in the 13th over. Azam attempted the big shot when the pacer bowled a slower full delivery across the wickets. However, it lacked the necessary speed to cross the line and fell right into Mitchell’s grasp at long-on.

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Azam and Rizwan had their third 100+ run partnership in the T20 WC, which was the most of any pairing. Rizwan also quickly got his half-century off 36 balls in the 14th over. He also got out in the 17th over. In the 18th over, Mohammad Harris hit a six and a four in consecutively balls to seal the game for the Men in Green. Shan Masood took a single in the second bowl of the final over to take Pakistan to their first final in 13 years.