Cricket, Pakistan hammer Scots, book T20 World Cup semi-final with Australia
SHARJAH (Reuters) – Pakistani captain Babar Azam and Shoaib Malik have cracked dazzling half-centuries as former Twenty20 world champions beat Scotland by 72 races on Sunday to seal first place in Group II and stage a meeting in the semi-finals with Australia.
Azam chose to strike first after winning the toss and led ahead with a 47-ball 66 that contained five limits and three sixes before Malik put the Scots to the sword with a 54. of 25 balls dotted with six shots on the ropes.
Mohammad Hafeez also joined the party with a 31 from 19 balls to help them reach an 189-4 in their 20 overs, with 114 coming out of the last eight.
The winless Scots had little reward in their last Super 12 clash in Sharjah, with spinner Chris Greaves’ two wickets – Azam and Fakhar Zaman – priced at 43 runs in his four overs.
Pakistan slashed Scotland to 41-4 with Shadab Khan taking out dangerous opener George Munsey for 17 before beating Dylan Budge for a duck to lay the groundwork for another convincing victory in a tournament where they were faultless.
Richie Berrington spoke of his half-century in the 18th against Hasan Ali, crushing the paceman for a whopping six along the way, but his brave 54 weren’t knocked out in vain as Scotland only managed 117 -6 in their 20 overs.
Pakistan finished the group stage with five out of five wins while New Zealand finished second to face England in the semi-final.
(Report by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bangalore, edited by Christian Radnedge)