Pakistan crush Scotland to top the table

In a nutshell

Pakistan eased past Scotland by 72 runs to continue their unbeaten run in the ICC T20 World Cup 2021. Pakistan needed to beat Scotland to top Group 2 and they did it in some style to stay the only side who haven’t dropped a game so far. Pakistan will now play the second semifinal against Australia in Dubai on November 11.

Why did Pakistan bat first?

Probably to test their batters while trying to set up a score and then put their bowlers under pressure while defending with dew coming into the picture. Scotland had things under control in the opening ten overs of the game with Pakistan eyeing a score around the 160-run mark. Just 35 were scored in the powerplay and Mohammad Rizwan fell to Hamza Tahir for 15 soon after. Fakhar Zaman made 8 off 13 but was dismissed by Chris Greaves as Pakistan reached 60 for 2 after 10 overs.

The pick up …

Babar Azam was set to bat deep and the onus was on Mohammad Hafeez to up the ante. Hafeez struck four boundaries and a six to help Pakistan pick up 52 in the overs between 10 and 15. He, however, was dismissed lbw by Safyaan Sharif to leave Pakistan with a platform from where they can try and post a challenging total. Babar, meanwhile, scored a half-century off 40 balls – his fourth in this tournament – to allow the likes of Shoaib Malik and Asif Ali to flourish from the other end.

The Malik carnage …

Once Babar was dismissed by Greaves for 66 off 67, both Malik and Asif had the licence to go berserk. On the night, the latter took a backseat and allowed Malik to do the damage. The former captain smashed an 18-ball half-century to bat Scotland out of the contest. Malik smashed three sixes and a four in the final over to take 26 off Greaves and help Pakistan post 129 runs in the last ten overs. Malik’s assault also meant that he got the joint-fastest half-century in this tournament – match KL Rahul’s 18-ball effort against Scotland – and also register the fastest half-century for Pakistan in T20Is.

Scotland’s tame reply …

Scotland were 24 for 1 at the end of the powerplay and then 41 for 2 at the halfway mark. Shadab Khan bagged two in the 11th to reduce Scotland to 43 for 4. There was no real flourish in the chase and even though Richie Berrington made an unbeaten 54, Scotland not once threatened to take the game away from Pakistan.

Brief scores: Pakistan 189/4 in 20 overs (Babar Azam 66, Shoaib Malik 54) beat Scotland 117/6 in 20 overs (Richie Berrington 54; Shadab Khan 2-14) by 72 runs.

Source: https://www.cricbuzz.com/cricket-news/119758/pakistan-crush-scotland-to-top-the-table

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