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Pakistan, against all odds, reached the semifinal of the T20 World Cup after the Netherlands knocked South Africa out of the tournament. Pakistan will now face New Zealand, the winner of group A, in the semis hoping to play the second World Cup final on Australian soil. Obviously, no Pakistani could forget the first World Cup final Pakistan played in Australia in 1992.
Pakistan has every right to feel confident facing New Zealand as records show Pakistan has won 17 times out 28 T20 matches against the Kiwis, whereas, New Zealand has come out victorious on 17 occasions.
Early Pakistan needed the Netherlands to beat South Africa along with a victory against Bangladesh to reach the last four. The Netherlands did Pakistan a big favor when it had pulled off one of the major upsets in the history of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup and sent South Africa tumbling out of semi-final race.
Pakistan will face off New Zealand at Sydney Cricket Ground on Wednesday in the semifinal of ICC Men’s T20 world cup. India will battle it out against England in the second semis at Adelaide Oval on Thursday, while, the final will take place at Melbourne Cricket Ground on Sunday.
After consecutive defeats against India and Zimbabwe, the possibility of qualifying for semi was all but over but poor showings from other teams propelled Pakistan into the semis.
In all fairness, Pakistan cricket team overall performance in the tournament isn’t as bad as some describe it. Pakistan played really well against India and was unlucky to lose the game in the final over. Granted, Pakistan was awful against Zimbabwe, but bounced back strongly against the Netherlands, outclassed South Africa with huge margin and played like champion against Bangladesh today.
Pakistan cricket team needs to focus on its best performers as we saw Shadad Khan, iftikhar Ahmed, Mohammad Haris performing brilliantly and hope the team uses them properly in the big game on Wednesday. As far as the bowling is concerned, all four fast bowlers Shaheen, Ruaf, Naseem, Waseem are in good form. Let’s hope they show their best version in the semifinal against the Black Caps.