November 8, 2021

Rampant Pakistan win all five in league rounds

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From Ehsan Qureshi in Sharjah

(Pakistan News & Features Services)

Pakistan remained undefeated in Group-II league rounds of the ICC T20 World Cup as they hammered Scotland by 72 runs in their fifth and final outing at the Sharjah Stadium on November 7. 

Electing to bat, after winning the toss, Pakistan amassed 184 for the loss of four wickets in the allotted 20 overs and then restricted Scotland to 117 for six in the stipulated overs to emerge triumphant with hints of conviction. 

As witnessed during their previous game against Namibia, they got off to a cautious start but exploded in the death over to post a mammoth total which proved well out of reach of their opponents. 

The Scots were found clueless in pursuit of the big total and it proved to be a mismatch as the Pakistan's spin-cum-pace attack gave nothing away. All the bowlers were bang on target, gearing up for the knockout games.

Veteran Shoaib Malik got the opportunity to demonstrate his continued hunger for success as he smashed an unbeaten on 54 off just 18 balls with half a dozen towering sixes.

Skipper Babar Azam, on the other hand, simply extended his brilliant form when making 66 off 47 balls with the help of five fours and three sixes. 

Knowing their tactics, there was hardly any surprise in watching Pakistan make only 35 runs without losing any wicket in the six overs of power play which was exactly the same score at this particular stage in the match against Namibia. 

The Scots were put to sword in the final phase of the innings as the duo of Shoaib and Babar plundered the bowling at will. There were flurry of boundaries and the last 35 balls produced as many 89 runs which raised the total into mammoth proportions. 

By virtue of becoming the Group II champions, Pakistan will now clash with the Group I runners-up Australia in the second semifinal at Dubai Cricket Stadium on November 11 while the Group I leaders England will be up against New Zealand, the Group II runners-up, in the first pre-final on November 10. The final will be played in Dubai on November 14.

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