T20 World Cup 2021: Match 41, Pakistan vs Scotland – Who Said What

Pakistan will face Australia in the second semi-final on November 11.

Pakistan cricket team
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Pakistan cricket team. (Photo by AAMIR QURESHI/AFP via Getty Images)
Pratyay Tiwari
PRATYAY TIWARI

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Pakistan made it five in five with a thumping 72-run victory against Scotland in their final Super12 fixture to end up as the lone undefeated team in the league stage. They will clash with Australia in the second semi-final on November 11 in Dubai.

Babar Azam won his fifth toss in as many games and opted to bat against Scotland to once again put his batters to test after the first three victories for the team came while chasing. After the 45-run win over Namibia in the previous game, followed by the one tonight, Pakistan have nearly left no box unticked. To the end of testing the batters, Azam played another crucial hand, scoring his fourth half-century in the tournament, a 47-ball 66, laced with three sixes and five fours.

Much like their usual style, Pakistan made a sedate start, scoring even less than a run every ball in the powerplay that fetched only 35. Immediately after it ended, Hamza Tahir struck to remove Mohammad Rizwan for a 19-ball 15, while Chris greaves extended Fakhar Zaman’s rut, getting him caught by Michael Leask for 8 off 14.

What followed, however, was absolute carnage, with Pakistan scoring 129 runs in the last 10 overs. 77 of those came in the last four overs thanks to the incredible ball-hitting of the 40-year-old Shoaib Malik, who belted six sixes in his unbeaten 18-ball 54. After Babar perished towards the fag end of the innings, Malik got good company in another 40-year-old Mohammad Hafeez, who scored a brisk 31 off 19 himself.

That score was always out of Scotland’s reach, not least because of the form Pakistan have shown throughout the tournament with the ball. And well-beyond their reach is how it exactly turned out to be, with only three batters scoring in double-digits, and the second-highest individual score being Georgey Munsey’s 31-ball 17. It was an uncharacteristic knock for someone of Munsey’s reputation, but Pakistan’s new-ball bowlers kept him tied before Shadab Khan removed him.

Shadab later cleaned up Dylan Budge to claim his second, while Hasan Ali, who has not been in the best of forms, struck in the powerplay to account for Scotland skipper Kyle Coetzer. Richie Berrington’s half-century (unbeaten 57 off 34) was the only thing to bring a smile on Scotland’s faces, whereas their dashing hitter Michael Leask, who gave New Zealand a few hiccups with his cameo, could not emulate the performance, falling for a 14 off as many balls.

Losing skipper Kyle Coetzer:

I thought we really bowled well. Specially in the PP. When you know the kind of quality Pakistan has in the batting department, they will get hold of you. It is a huge occasion for associate nations. Going home, we hope we have inspired people back home. If you play hard enough, you can be a part of the competition like this. We have got some fantastic players in our group. Playing in these conditions was challenging for us. And then we will assess what would be the challenges when we play the WC in Australia.

Winning skipper Babar Azam: 

We are confident about each other’s ability. We are playing as a unit and hence playing consistent cricket. We wanted to bat first. We couldn’t play well in the PP. Hafeez played well and so did Malik. He used his experience and played well towards the end. We have been confident. We would want to continue with the same momentum. Dubai is one of the best stadiums. We love the fans over here and there as well. The way they come and cheer for us is amazing.

Player of the Match Shoaib Malik:

As we saw in the previous games if we don’t lose wickets early then there’s a chance of putting a good total in the end and that’s been the talk in the dressing room, to get to 150 and not give any early wickets. If you’re playing on a good track, then you take a couple of balls to get your eye in before you start attacking, but on these tracks, you might take 6-8 balls, assess the conditions and then start playing your shots. Win is a big thing, you take a lot of confidence going deep into the tournament. For myself, I’m in good form and I want to be more consistent which can help the team, still fit and it’s going to be a big game (Semis) and we are going to give our best shot.