Pakistan win five in five

Beat Scotland by 72 runs, set up clash with Australia

Pakistan win five in five
©T20 World Cup

SHARJAH: Pakistan defeated Scotland by 72 runs in the penultimate match of the Super 12 stage, giving Babar Azam's team first place in Group 2 with five wins from five games.

Captain Babar Azam hit a magnificent 66 off 47 balls, with quickfire contributions from Shoaib Malik and Mohammad Hafeez, helping Pakistan to a respectable total of 189/4.

In response, Scotland survived but struggled against the quality of Pakistan's attack, reaching only 117/6, falling 72 runs short.

Pakistan qualified first in Group 2 with their fifth straight win, ahead of New Zealand, who beat Afghanistan earlier in the day to seal their own qualification.

They will face Australia in the second semi-final on Thursday in Dubai, with the Black Caps taking on England the day before in Abu Dhabi.

Scotland finishes bottom of Group 2 after five defeats, but will be encouraged by their Round 1 performance, which included a win over Bangladesh and qualification for the next ICC Men's T20 World Cup.

Pakistan got off to a good start thanks to openers Mohammad Rizwan and Azam, before Rizwan edged a flighted Hamza Tahir delivery to the keeper.

But the captain kept the momentum going, hitting a spectacular six out of the stadium as he laid the groundwork for his team.

Fakhar Zaman's stay in the middle came to an end when he miscued a Chris Greaves delivery to Michael Leask, continuing his poor form.

However, Babar was still out in the middle as Pakistan reached 60/2 at the halfway point of the innings.

The Pakistan captain tormented Scotland in the middle overs before succumbing to an outstanding 66 in the 18th over – an innings that featured eight boundaries and some glorious strokeplay.

With 264 runs from five innings, Azam has surpassed Jos Buttler as the tournament's leading run-scorer.

And Pakistan captain Sarfraz Ahmed's half-century was his fourth of the Super 12 stage. Because of his remarkable consistency, he is one of only three players in men's T20 World Cup history to score four 50s in a tournament, joining Matthew Hayden and Virat Kohli in an exclusive club.

Pakistan were already on track for a respectable total, but that turned into a monster total when Hafeez and Malik went big to punish Scotland in dramatic fashion.

Hafeez's 31 off 19 increased the scoring rate through the middle overs before he was bowled in the 15th. Malik's onslaught, on the other hand, was on another level, with Scotland having no answer to the veteran's might.

In a masterful display of power-hitting, Malik hit three maximums in the final over to reach his own half-century, reaching 54 off just 18 balls.

The breathtaking effort is the fastest 50 by a Pakistani player in T20 internationals.

Scotland's opening pair survived Shaheen Shah Afridi's early threat, but struggled to get going under intense pressure from Pakistan's attack.

And it was the need to score that did it for Coetzer, who went for a big shot in the sixth over and only connected with air as Hasan Ali's slower ball clattered into the stumps.

Scotland's woes were exacerbated when Matthew Cross was run out at the non-end striker's with the score at 41/2 in ten overs.

Shadab Khan's double strike right after the drinks break only added to Pakistan's command of the chase.

After being denied his preferred sweep shot during a patchy 17 off 31, opener George Munsey edged to short third for a big shot off the first ball of the 11th over.

Dylan Budge then went two balls without scoring, only to be cleaned up by a googly.

Afridi returned with a full and straight ball that sent the bails flying through the air like sparks from a roman candle.

Haris Rauf's wicket of Chris Greaves in the final over completed a fantastic day for Pakistan as Scotland finished six down.

Richie Berrington was Scotland's standout batsman, finishing unbeaten on 54 to give his team something to be proud of on the final day of their tournament.

Edited - SportsAction / Inputs - T20 World Cup