Powerful half-centuries by Mohammad Rizwan and Babar Azam lifted Pakistan into the T20 World Cup semifinals with a convincing 45-run victory over inexperienced Namibia on Tuesday.
Rizwan smashed an unbeaten 79 off 50 balls and Babar made 70 off 49 deliveries as Pakistan batted first for the first time in the tournament and put on a strong total of 189-2.
Namibia always looked second best after its impressive 10 overs with the ball on the field to end at 144-5 and lose its second match in Group 2.
Pakistan’s fourth successive win puts it atop the table with eight points. It could go unbeaten into the semifinals as i
ts last group game is against Scotland, another inexperienced team.
In-form Rizwan and Babar were tested by tall leftarm paceman Ruben Trumpelmann early on as Namibia gave away only 59 runs in the first half of Pakistan’s innings with Trumpelmann starting by bowling a maiden over to Rizwan.
Rizwan also successfully overturned on review an lbw decision off JJ Smit when he was on just 2 as Namibia conceded just four boundaries in the batting powerplay.
But both batsmen cut lose against the rest of the seamers and the legspin of Jan Nicol Loftie-Eaton to raise a 113-run stand. Babar hit seven fours, mostly his trademark cover drives, before he holed out off a knuckle ball from David Wiese (1-30) in the 15th over.
Meanwhile, Mohammad Rizwan has surpassed Virat Kohli, and now holds the record of the highest average in T20Is. The right-handed batter scored 1264 T20I runs at an average of 52.66 while Virat has accumulated 3225 runs at an average of 52.01