ABU DHABI: Pakistan on Tuesday become the first side to qualify for the semi-finals after defeating Namibia by 45 runs in their T20 World Cup clash at Zayed Cricket Stadium in Abu Dhabi.
Chasing a formidable target of 190, Namibia gave a good account of their ability and promise, and were 83-2 at one point in the run chase. They eventually finished with 144-5 as Pakistan collected the two points they needed to go through the next round.
This was Pakistan’s fourth consecutive victory in the tournament after they had defeated India, New Zealand, and Afghanistan in their previous fixtures.
Earlier, skipper Babar Azam and fellow opener Mohammad Rizwan hit half-centuries to guide Pakistan to 189-2. Babar notched his 23rd Twenty20 international fifty with a 49-ball 70 while Rizwan finished with a 50-ball 79 not out after Pakistan won the toss and opted to bat.
The pair added 113 for the first wicket after Pakistan were slow out of the blocks, scoring just 59 in the first ten overs but ended with a flurry in the next ten, taking 130 runs.
Veteran Mohammad Hafeez scored a brisk 16-ball 32 not out with five boundaries. Pakistan’s total is the second highest in this tournament, behind Afghanistan’s 190-4 against Scotland in Sharjah.
Babar hit seven boundaries before he holed out to David Wiese in the 15th over while Fakhar Zaman was smartly caught by keeper Zane Green for five.
Rizwan reached his tenth half century with a pulled six off Wiese in the 19th over before hitting four boundaries and a six to take 22 off JJ Smit’s final over. Rizwan’s knock included eight fours and four sixes.
Pakistan: 1 Babar Azam (capt), 2 Mohammad Rizwan (wk), 3 Fakhar Zaman, 4 Mohammad Hafeez, 5 Shoaib Malik, 6 Asif Ali, 7 Shadab Khan, 8 Imad Wasim, 9 Hasan Ali, 10 Haris Rauf, 11 Shaheen Shah Afridi
Namibia: 1 Stephan Baard, 2 Michael van Lingen, 3 Craig Williams, 4 Gerhard Erasmus (capt), 5 David Wiese, 6 JJ Smit, 7 Jan Nicol Loftie-Eaton, 8 Zane Green (wk), 9 Jan Frylinck, 10 Ruben Trumpelmann, 11 Ben Shikongo