After claiming a 72-run victory over Scotland on Sunday in Sharjah, Babar Azam has stated that the team is confident about each other's ability, and playing as a unit have helped them to be consistent throughout the tournament. Pakistan registered their fifth straight win at the Super 12 stage.
After winning the toss, Pakistan opted to bat first, and opener Mohammad Rizwan (15) partnered for a 35-run stand along with Babar Azam before the former fell to Hamza Tahir in the seventh over. Fakhar Zaman, who walked out to bat at No.3 could not contribute much to the Pakistan innings as he could manage only 8 runs off 13 balls.
However, Mohammad Hafeez smashed 31 off 19 balls and accelerated the innings in the middle overs before he departed in the 15th over. Captain Babar Azam stood solid at one end, and scored a 47-ball 66 before his dismissal in the 18th over. At the end of the innings, Shoaib Malik stole the show as he smashed an unbeaten 54 off 18 and guided his side to 189/4. Notably, Malik's 18-ball 54 is the joint-fastest in the T20 World Cup 2021. For Scotland, Chris Greaves scalped two wickets, while Hamza Tahir and Safyaan Sharif clinched one wicket each.
In pursuit of 190 runs, Scotland were restricted to 117/6 after a disciplined bowling performance from the Pakistan spinners. Shadab Khan scalped two wickets by conceding only 14 off his four overs, while Imad Wasim gave away just 17 runs in his full quota of overs. Pacers Hasan Ali and Shaheen Afridi clinched one wicket each and helped their side to claim their fifth straight win at the Super 12 stage. For Scotland, Richie Berrington ( 54* off 37 balls) was the lone warrior for his side.
Babar Azam stated that playing as a unit has helped Pakistan to play consistent cricket throughout the tournament.
"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," said Babar after the match.
Shoiab Malik, who was adjudged Man of the Match for his swashbuckling fifty, stated that he would like to contribute more towards the team's success in the upcoming matches at the marquee event.
"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," said Malik after the match.
Pakistan will face Australia in the second semi-final in Dubai on November 11.