PAKISTAN HAVE BOOKED their place in the final of the ICC T20 World Cup 2022.
Commanding knocks from Mohammad Rizwan (57 off 43), Babar Azam (53 off 42) and Mohammad Harris (30 off 26) steered Pakistan's innings as they chased down New Zealand's total of 152 with relative ease.
Winning the toss and batting first, NZ suffered some early losses as Shaheen Afridi (4/24) bowled a tight and effective spell. But as the innings went on, Daryl Mitchell (53 not out off 35) helped them recover and get past the 150 mark.
The Black Caps needed early wickets to defend a total like that but their bowlers proved to be ineffective in containing the Pakistani openers. And although some wickets taken late in the game by Trent Boult (2/33) and Mitchell Santner (1/26) got the game into the last over, Pakistani batsmen never let the required run rate get out of control and achieved their target with 5 balls to spare.
Pakistan, who were looking at an early departure from the tournament at one point, have staged a brilliant comeback. And the internet is abuzz with the parallels between their campaign and that of the Pakistan team in the 1992 World Cup: both took place in Australia, with Australia being the defending champions and falling out of the competition in the group stage, with Pakistan losing to India in the group stage then beating New Zealand in the semis. In 1992 Pakistan won the World Cup, and it remains to be seen if they can repeat the feat this time.
On Sunday, they will take on either India or England in the final, depending on who wins the second semi-final.