Record breaking Partnership by Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan are at their best, putting the Black Caps to the sword in Sydney and making an achievable but challenging chase appear simple.
In the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup semifinal on Wednesday, Pakistan’s opening batsmen put on an outstanding display that helped their team defeat New Zealand.
Babar and Rizwan have received periodic criticism for their play, scoring rates, and group-stage performance, with the captain appearing particularly off-balance.
However, the pair’s statistics in 20-over cricket are astounding, as they broke another another record while preparing for their victory over New Zealand.
More than any other opening combo in the tournament’s history, the Pakistan openers’ 105-run stand marked their third century partnership in a Men’s T20I World Cup.
Their eighth century partnership in all T20Is was also an all-time high, easily surpassing the next-highest team of India’s KL Rahul and Rohit Sharma, who had five.
New Zealand versus Pakistan T20 World Cup 2022, Live Cricket Score, First Semifinal: After losing the toss, Pakistan seized control of the semifinal, with Devon Conway getting run out by Shadab Khan off the final ball of the powerplay and Finn Allen being removed by Shaheen Shah Afridi in the first over. As New Zealand finished at 152/4 in their allotted 20 overs, runs from Kane Williamson (46) and Daryl Mitchell (53), among others, helped the team out much.
Babar and Rizwan have combined to score 2509 runs for Pakistan in the Men’s T20I format, which is 621 runs more than any other duo, making them by far the highest-scoring partnership in the history of the competition.
Their current partnering average is 51.20. In order to put things into perspective, only three duos with over 1000 partnership runs have an average over 40, and none have an average above 50.
After witnessing his openers turn on the style, Pakistan coach Matthew Hayden stated, “Tonight was quite spectacular and a couple things came out for us.”
“Babar and Rizwan will be the talk of the town… the sky is the limit, and these two men have been serving Pakistan for a while.”
Rizwan was only recently knocked off the top spot in the MRF Tyres ICC Men’s T20I Batting Rankings, and has appeared in somewhat better form than his skipper, scoring 49 against Netherlands and 32 against Bangladesh in the Super 12 stage.
But his 57 off 43 balls against the Black Caps was easily his biggest contribution of the tournament so far, and Rizwan afterwards stated that his knock was predicated on aggression up top and then a transition to an anchor attitude as the innings progressed.
“Of course, Babar and I opted to go after the new ball, and the pitch was tricky.”
“When we concluded the powerplay, we debated who of the guys should leave.”
Skipper Babar Azam (53) and Mohammad Rizwan (57) combined for 105 runs for the first wicket, effectively sealing Pakistan’s victory. The men in green eventually won the game with five balls remaining and seven wickets in hand.
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