World Cup 2021: Pakistan can take on any team in semis, says Mohammad Rizwan
Wicketkeeper-batsman Mohammad Rizwan vowed Pakistan can beat any team in the Twenty20 World Cup semi-finals after they romped into the last four with another clinical win over Namibia on Tuesday.
Rizwan was deservedly declared man of the match for his 50-ball 79 not out as he put on 113 with skipper Babar Azam (70) to take Pakistan to an imposing 189-2 in their 20 overs.
Namibia managed 144-5 in their 20 overs to lose by 45 runs in Abu Dhabi.
With four wins in as many Super 12 games, Pakistan became the first team to reach the last four from Group 2.
Pakistan will face the runners-up of Group 1, likely to be Australia or South Africa.
But Rizwan said his high-flying team don’t see who they are opponents are.
“We don’t see the rival team,” said Rizwan.
“Whoever comes in the semi-finals we can take them on and the way our team is doing we will win that as well.”
This becomes Rizwan’s second man-of-the-match award after he knocked 79 not out against arch-rivals India in their opening game.
Rizwan said Pakistan had entered the Namibia match with a different plan, batting first after winning the toss.
“We want to see how we do if we bat first and the plan given to us by coaches was to score 190 plus and thankfully we managed that,” said Rizwan.
Pakistan were off to a slow start, scoring just 59 runs in the first ten overs before smashing 130 in the next ten.
“I think Namibian bowlers bowled the first six overs very well and that is why we did not get quick runs but later on Babar and I got acceleration and that helped,” said Rizwan.
He and Babar also put on an unbroken 152-run stand to overhauled India’s below-par total.
“People used to say that we are not power hitters but we are managing and thanks [to] Almighty [God] doing well,” said Rizwan of the opening stands with Babar.
“We support each other and that is paying good rewards.”
Pakistan next face Scotland in their final group game, in Sharjah on Sunday.