PAK vs SCO: Malik sizzles in Pakistan's 72-run win, to face Australia in T20 World Cup semifinals

Shoaib Malik's was the tournament's joint fastest half-century alongside India opener KL Rahul, which also came against Scotland, as Pakistan stopped the Scots at 117 for six after posting an imposing 189 for four.

Team Pakistan

Pakistan players after their win over Scotland.   -  AP

Playing international cricket since the last century, when some of his current teammates were not even born, Shoaib Malik on Sunday showed them the way with an astonishing 18-ball 54 to set up Pakistan's 72-run mauling of Scotland in the T20 World Cup 2021.

It was the tournament's joint fastest half-century alongside India opener KL Rahul, which also came against Scotland, as Pakistan stopped the Scots at 117 for six after posting an imposing 189 for four.

Malik, 39, blasted six sixes during his whirlwind unbeaten knock, which overshadowed skipper Babar Azam's fourth half-century of the tournament.

Batting first, Pakistan pummelled 129 runs in the last 10 after limping to 60 for two at the halfway stage.

With the ball, the in-form team did what was expected of it in its last Super 12 engagement to set up a semifinal date with Australia.

Pakistan blazed its way into the last four with five wins from as many outings, underlining its credentials as one of the firm favourites.

Thanks to Malik's blitz, Pakistan scored 43 runs in the last two overs, including 26 off the final six balls bowled by Chris Greaves.

As it happened

Meanwhile Babar, who once again donned the role of the accumulator, became only the third batter to score four half-centuries in a T20 WC after former Australia opener Matthew Hayden and India captain Virat Kohli, who achieved the feat in 2007 and 2014 respectively.

Opting to bat first, Babar Mohammad Rizwan were off to a sedate start, as the Scotland bowlers managed to keep the run rate below six until the PowerPlay.

Having smoked Bradley Wheal for a gigantic six over deep mid-wicket, Rizwan was dismissed by Hamza Tahir, who drew the batter with a tossed-up delivery before getting an under-edge to the wicketkeeper.

The Scots deserves plaudits for the manner in which they kept a lid on the Pakistan scoring as the side ended the PowerPlay at 35 for no loss, which became 35 for one in the first ball of the next over with Rizwan's dismissal.

However, things changed completely as Pakistan entered the back 10 with both Babar and veteran Mohammad Hafeez (31 off 19 balls) cutting loose to clear the ropes at regular intervals during a brisk 53-run third-wicket partnership.

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Babar was his usual classy self when he played the ball along the ground, but at the same time, he did not hesitate to go over the top.

After Babar's dismissal, the show belonged to Malik.

In a massive chase, Scotland lost the wickets of skipper Kyle Coetzer and Matthew Cross with just 36 runs in the board.

Scotland was never in the game as it struggled to 42 for two at the end of the first 10 overs.

Richie Berrington was the lone Scotland batter to shine with a 54 off 37 balls.

Brief scores

Pakistan 189/4 in 20 overs (Babar Azam 66, Shoaib Malik 54 not out; Hamza Sharif 1/24, Chris Greaves)

Scotland 117/6 in 20 overs (Richie Berrington 54 not out; Shadab Khan 2/14)

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