Cricket News By TODAYLIVESCORE.INFO - Unbeaten Pakistan power into semifinals with fourth win. Babar and Rizwan put another century stand.
Babar and Rizwan put another century stand.
In a nutshell
Pakistan powered their way to a semifinal berth with their fourth win on the trot, overcoming Namibia by 45 runs. Babar Azam's men now have a 15-man unbeaten streak in UAE and have a good chance of extending their run with the final Group 2 match against Scotland. After having scored 130 in the last 10 overs, Pakistan set Namibia 190 to win, but it was a mountain too high for them to climb as Pakistan's bowlers restricted them to 144 for 5 on Tuesday (November 2). Although you wouldn't have expected Namibia to chase down that total given the quality of Pakistan's bowlers, they not just batted out the 20 overs, but showed enough fight and promise until the end.
How did Namibia go about a big chase?
Namibia had more runs on the board (34) than Pakistan (29) at the end of the powerplay, but had lost Michael van Lingen in the second over as Hasan Ali knocked him over. Stephan Baard looked promising but was run-out in the ninth which pegged them back a bit requiring 120 at the midway stage at 70/2.
Could they capitalize in the middle overs like Pakistan did?
Not really … Craig Williams held the innings together with a 37-ball 40 before he holed out in the deep, while Gerhard Erasmus chipped straight to cover an over earlier. A lot depended on David Wiese who is more than capable to have changed the course of the match, but it was an ask too tough for even someone of his caliber with 80 needed in 20 balls. Besides, the spinners were in operation in the middle overs with him favouring pace. He remained unbeaten on 43 off 31 in the end, with Pakistan managing to pick only five wickets, but it was enough to take them over the line rather comfortably.
Why did Pakistan opt to bat despite dew being a factor?
They wanted to test their batting having chased in the three games so far.
How did they do?
The openers started slowly but gradually switched gears to stitch a century stand. It took Namibia 14 overs before they could strike despite their seamers getting quite a bit of help with the new ball. They bowled with discipline, got the ball to move off the surface and kept the runs in check. They would've been in a better place had their ground fielding been at par. It was poor on the night. While Rizwan struggled at one end, Babar Azam kept the runs coming at the other, reaching another half-century. It wasn't until a twin strike for Namibia that the game turned on its head.
How did the game turn?
Pakistan were 59/0 in 10 overs. Babar holed out in the deep in the 15th over, while Zaman was dismissed by a stunner from Zane Green. The game changed thereafter as Hafeez and Rizwan added a 67-run stand that came in just 26 balls. As many as 51 runs came in the last three overs and 71 in the last five as Namibia let the game away from their clasp. Hafeez remained unbeaten on 32 off 16, while Rizwan, who battled through the tough phases, unleashed in the death overs to remain unbeaten on 79 off 50. They ended with the second-highest total in this year's World Cup.
Pakistan have five days between today and their last game on Sunday (November 7), while Namibia play New Zealand on Friday (November 5) for their fourth game.
Brief scores: Pakistan 189/2 in 20 overs (Mohammad Rizwan 79*, Babar Azam 70, Mohammad Hafeez 32*) beat Namibia 144/5 in 20 overs (Craig Williams 40, David Wiese 43*) by 45 runs.