PAK vs NAM, T20 World Cup 2021: Pakistan beats Namibia by 45 runs to qualify for the semifinals

T20 World Cup 2021: It was too steep a mountain to climb for Namibia as Mohammad Rizwan and Babar Azam became the first pair to reach five century partnerships in T20Is.

Pakistan vs Namibia

Pakistan cricketers celebrate the dismissal of Namibia's JJ Smit (not in picture) during an ICC men’s T20 World Cup match at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi on Tuesday.   -  AFP

Pakistan rode on Babar Azam's measured fifty and Mohammad Rizwan's brutal power-hitting to seal a place in the ICC T20 World Cup semifinals with a 45-run win over Namibia in a Group 2 Super 12 game in Abu Dhabi on Tuesday.

Chasing 190, Namibia lost Michael van Lingen early off Hasan Ali. From the other end, Shaheen Shah Afridi — who went wicketless — conceded two boundaries and after Imad Wasim's one-run over, Haris Rauf went for 10 in his first as Stephan Baard and Craig Williams guided Namibia to 34/1 in six overs.

With the asking rate climbing, Williams hit Mohammad Hafeez for a six in the ninth before a misunderstanding led to Baard being run out. Gerhard Erasmus, the captain, walked in and hit Shadab Khan for a six and four to take Namibia to 70 for 2 after 10. He was caught off Wasim's bowling in the 13th over and when Williams fell for 40 in the next over, David Wiese and the lower order were left with too much to do in the end.

As it happened

Earlier, Babar won the toss and decided to bat. Ruben Trumplemann and Wiese were economical upfront. Rizwan survived an lbw appeal on review in the fifth over. Jan Frylinck and Ben Shikongo dried up the boundaries between overs 7-9 before leggie Jan Nicol Loftie-Eaton came into the attack in the 10th, and Babar drove him for four.

Pakistan, 59 for 0 after 10, then shifted gears. It collected 12 and 18 from the 11th and 12th overs, with Babar reaching another 50 off 39 balls. Rizwan got a move on, hitting Trumpelmann for a six and a four before smacking Loftie-Eaton for a second six.

Rizwan and Babar became the first pair to reach five century partnerships in T20Is before the latter fell for a 49-ball 70. Fakhar Zaman got out in the next over. Hafeez, at No. 4, struck a 16-ball 32 before Rizwan hit four fours and a six off JJ Smit as Pakistan plundered 24 off the 20th.

In the end, it was too steep a mountain to climb for Namibia.

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