PERTH — Pakistan logged their first points in the ICC T20 World Cup, crushing the Netherlands by six wickets with more than six overs to spare in their Super 12 Group 2 match at the Perth Stadium on Sunday.
Riding on a superb bowling performance, Pakistan restricted Netherlands to 91/9 and then knocked off the runs for the loss of four wickets to earn their first victory in the T20 World Cup.
Chasing the total down, opener Mohammad Rizwan set the tone early with a superb shot down the ground. It wasn’t such good luck for his partner and skipper Babar Azam, as he was run out for four. It is the first time in his T20I career that Babar has been dismissed three times in a row for a score of under 10, according to ICC.
Rizwan and Fakhar Zaman then strung together 37 runs off 31 deliveries which helped Pakistan ace the small chase. Fakhar’s knock of 20 came to an end with Scott Edwards taking a fine diving catch behind the stumps off the bowling of Brandon Glover.
Rizwan continued to guide Pakistan towards the target but missed out on his half-century by one run, with Paul van Meekeren getting his prized scalp.
While Pakistan went on to lose another wicket with the scores level, they completed the win with enough overs in the kitty. It was Pakistan’s first win in the tournament, and notably their first ever win in Australia in T20Is.
Earlier, Pakistan produced a brilliant bowling effort, restricting Netherlands to a low score. They made full use of the pace and bounce on offer on a quick Perth wicket. Netherlands never got going against the varied Pakistan bowling attack, managing to score only 19 runs in the powerplay.
Shadab Khan then did all the damage in the middle overs, ending his spell with figures of 3/22 in his four overs. The pace quartet of Shaheen Afridi, Haris Rauf, Mohammad Wasim and Naseem Shah were also superb, with Netherlands finding it hard to counter them.
Colin Ackermann (27 off 27) was the only Netherlands batter who got his eye in and played a couple of cheeky shots. Mohammad Waseem would produce a sizzling 19th over, bowling two superb yorkers to further dent Netherlands’ efforts to add a few valuable runs.
In the end, Netherlands could only post a total of 91/9 on the board in their 20 overs.
For the match, Pakistan had made one change, with Fakhar Zaman coming in for Haider Ali in the batting order.
Brief scores: Netherlands 91/9 in 20 overs (Colin Ackermann 27; Shadab Khan 3/22, Mohammad Wasim 2/15) lost to Pakistan 95/4 in 13.5 overs (Mohammad Rizwan 49, Fakhar Zaman 20) by six wickets. — (IANS)