result
31st Match, Group 2 (N), Abu Dhabi, Nov 2 2021, ICC Men's T20 World Cup
(20 ov, target 190)144/5
Pakistan won by 45 runs
Player Of The Match
79* (50)
mohammad-rizwan

timeline-icon Timeline

Showing newest first sort
  • timeline-icon

    100% - Pakistan will be in the T20 World Cup semifinal

  • timeline-icon

    Shadab redeems himself

  • timeline-icon

    Pakistan bowlers getting a workout

  • timeline-icon

    Namibia watchful in early salvo

  • timeline-icon

    Blistering Rizwan takes Pakistan to 189

  • timeline-icon

    An evening of two halves for Trumpelmann

  • timeline-icon

    "He's playing chess with the cricket bat"

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    Two wickets in two overs

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    A new record for Azam-Rizwan

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    Rizwan survives. By the barest of margins

  • timeline-icon

    Trumpelmann on a mission

  • timeline-icon

    Remember when Pakistan last played Namibia?

  • timeline-icon

    Toss update

  • timeline-icon

    How should Pakistan approach this match?

  • timeline-icon

    Four in four? Or a great WC upset?

Showing newest sort
Updated 02-Nov-2021 • Published 02-Nov-2021

As it happened - Namibia vs Pakistan, Men's T20 World Cup, Super 12s

By Sreshth Shah

100% - Pakistan will be in the T20 World Cup semifinal

Some late hitting from Wiese can only reduce the margin of defeat for Namibia. Pakistan close the innings out well enough to win with an impressive margin, and that confirms their spot in the semifinal. They are 4 in 4, and in line to make it 5 in 5 with Scotland left.

But if they are superstitious, then there's a bit of a problem. No team has won a T20 World Cup with a 100% win rate. But that's for another day, for now, they have ticked all the boxes they wanted to tick at the toss. Imad Wasim (4.33) and Hasan Ali (5.50) finish with the best economies among their bowlers.

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Shadab redeems himself

Shadab Khan has been excellent all tournament - conceding only 22, 19 and 22 runs against India, New Zealand and Afghanistan respectively. But today, his flighted deliveries were tonked around, and was set to finish for a wicketless spell and an economy of over eight. However, the last ball of his evening gets him a wicket. Craig Williams falls for 40.

With Namibia needing 90 runs in 5.1 overs now, Cricinfo's Forecaster gives them 0.67% chance of winning.

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Pakistan bowlers getting a workout

Although Stephen Baard got run out for 29 while trying to take a two that wasn't there, Namibia haven't stopped playing their shots. The captain Gerhard Erasmus has walked in and smacked Shadab Khan for a six and a four to take Namibia to 70 for 2.

From Pakistan's perspective its a double-edged sword: for the most ideal pre-knockouts workout, they would like that Namibia's batters push their bowlers out of their comfort zone, but not enough to chase 190 down.

With ten overs to go, Namibia need 120 with eight wickets in hand. And David Wiese is still in the hut. But Pakistan are in control (for now).

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Namibia watchful in early salvo

Hasan Ali's early wicket of Michael van Lingen has kept Namibia quiet in the 190 chase. It was a big boost for Hasan, who while revered for his bowling across all three stages of an innings, has probably been the weakest Pakistan bowler in the tournament. But with the wicket, out came his Hasan-bomb celebration. He went full, and got the ball to swing into the left-hander before going through him and crash into the stumps.

From the other end, Shaheen Shah Afridi conceded two boundaries in his first two overs, and after Imad Wasim's tidy one-run fifth over (he did not take the new ball interestingly) Namibia are 24 for 1 after five.

The asking rate is nearly 11 as Haris Rauf looks to close out the powerplay. It will only rise...

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Blistering Rizwan takes Pakistan to 189

24 off the last over. 71 off the last five. 130 off the last ten. And Pakistan set Namibia 190 to win.

Rizwan's Jekyll-and-Hyde innings sees him finish on 79 off 50 balls. At one point, he was on 16 in 25 balls. But the big hits in the back end has vindicated his approach at the top when batting wasn't as easy.

Dew in the second half definitely helped Pakistan, and that was apparent in the sloppy Namibian fielding and bowling. Hafeez played smartly to find the gaps with his controlled aggression to finish on 32 off 16. Hafeez says that Pakistan wanted to set 175+. They have overshot that with ease.

This just shows how important it is to keep wickets in hand even if the start is slow. On difficult surfaces, a slow, set batter still has a better chance to score runs than a new batter coming in and trying to settle in. The left-arm seamers who bowled so well over the wicket in the first ten bore the brunt of a change of angle in the back end. Their around-the-stump angle was feasted on by Hafeez and Rizwan, who expertly moved around the crease.

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An evening of two halves for Trumpelmann

After conceding just two in his first two overs with the new ball, the left-arm seamer has gone for 34 in his last two. Babar, Rizwan hit him for plenty in his third, and then Hafeez, Rizwan did the same in his fourth.

Hafeez, by the way, has been leading the charge in the death overs, playing beautifully square on both sides.Five fours in his 13-ball 29 with two overs to go. Pakistan 155 for 2 after 18 and looking to reach 180+.

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"He's playing chess with the cricket bat"

That's how Alan Wilkins has described Hafeez's batting so far. Hafeez has been manipulating the field beautifully after coming in at No. 4. Hits Smit for a lovely ramp past short fine leg for four. Then nudges a very late cut to thread a four between backward point and short third man. He's going hell-for-leather while Rizwan is holding one end up. Pakistan 138 for 2 after 17.

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Two wickets in two overs

Babar falls for 70 in the 15th over as he mistimes a slog to deep midwicket off a Wiese slower ball. And then the No. 3 Fakhar Zaman's poor run continues as he edges a length ball from Frylinck to the keeper's left. Green has to dive to his left after being wrong-footed with an initial right-side movement. Sticks the left hand out and it sticks. Pakistan 122 for 2 after 15.4 overs but they wouldn't worry about the wickets too much. Expect them to keep on hitting for the next 4.2 overs.

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A new record for Azam-Rizwan

5 Rizwan and Babar become the first pair in T20I cricket to reach five century partnerships.
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Rizwan vs Trumpelmann: round 2

The left-arm quick with a high release won the first round, but Rizwan has laid down the gauntlet in his second spell.

With the bowler choosing to come around the stumps to start off the 12th over, Rizwan comes down the ground and muscles a six over long on to get his strike-rate closer to 100 while moving to 28.

Azam then gets on strike, reaches yet another fifty (off 39 balls), and smacks the bowler over extra cover too.

An expensive over, and Pakistan have moved from second gear to fourth off the bowler they struggled most against so far. 17 off the over, and just like that Pakistan are on 89 for 0 in 12 overs with a run-rate of over 7.50. And with a four off the last ball, Rizwan too has moved to a 100+ strike-rate, now 32 in 31 balls.

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A recap of Pakistan's first 10 overs

The first ten overs have belonged to Namibia, but the only issue for them is that Pakistan still have 10 wickets in hand. Although Rizwan's scoring has been streaky, Babar has looked good but not his fluent best by any means. The ball is holding up off the deck, and there have been a lot of mis-hits when they have tried to slash shots square through the off side.

After six overs, Pakistan were 29 for 0, the fourth-worst powerplay score in T20I history with ten wickets in hand.

In all, Namibia's three left-arm seamers have conceded 32 runs in five overs. Wiese has gone for 11 in 2 and the new entrant Shikongo has bowled his lone over for 7.

To cap the tenth over off, the wristspinner (with a mean googly) Loftie-Eaton comes to bowl. And Babar shows the first signs of aggression outside the powerplay. Comes down the wicket to smack the leggie down the ground for a four, and takes Pakistan to 59 for 0 after 10 overs. Babar has done most of the scoring, while Rizwan is still going at a strike-rate of 64.

However, Pakistan will not be fretting too much at this stage. They bat deep, and expect them to look to change gears in 2-3 overs even if a wicket or two fall. But the only thing to be wary about is new batters will take a few balls to get their grip over this surface's characteristics. It is two-paced, but the Cricinfo Forecaster keeps Pakistan on course for 144.

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Rizwan survives. By the barest of margins

Rizwan has been struggling. Trumpelmann has been beating his outside edge. The one run he took off the left-arm seamer came off an inside edge. His timing is just off, and made only 2 runs in his first 11 balls. And then when another left-arm seamer JJ Smit goes full, Rizwan tries to play across the line. Hits the front leg, umpire raises the finger, but Rizwan survives after a review. Ball just pitching outside leg stump, technology reveals.

But just when it seems that Rizwan's timing is all over the place, he plays a delicious flick behind square for four, and the intro of Sayyoni reverberates around the ground. Pakistan 23/0 after five.

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Trumpelmann on a mission

Namibia have a special left-arm bowler in their set up. Ruben Trumpelmann doesn't have the pace of an Afridi, but he has the control and lateral movement that so many bowlers desire. Rizwan takes strike first ball, and after defending two length balls away, the batter is beaten on the outside edge on three occasions. Ball moving away twice, holding its line once, and Rizwan tentatively sees the over out with a back-foot defence off the last ball. After scoring 3, 7, and 10 in their previous first overs, Pakistan begin the game against Namibia with a maiden over! For all you fans of cricket quizzes, a reminder that Trumpelmann is the first man in history of T20Is to take three wickets in the first over of a game(achieving it against Scotland last week). Today's first over was also the first time Rizwan has batted out a maiden over in T20Is.

David Wiese, who knows many of these Pakistan players thanks to his PSL exploits, shares the new ball. Babar Azam gets Pakistan off the mark with a triple-run through midwicket off the game's eighth ball.

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Remember when Pakistan last played Namibia?

The national anthems are on. But here's a #Throwback. Who remembers the only other time Pakistan have played Namibia? It was at the ODI World Cup in 2003. Pakistan made 255, Namibia were bowled out for 84. It was the last time Wasim Akram would take a five-wicket haul in ODIs. This is their first meeting in T20Is.

On another note, which cricket celebration do you like to imitate? Take part in the #MyCricketCelebration challenge! Post your reels on Instagram and you could get featured on our handle.

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Toss update

The sun is setting in Abu Dhabi, and we get our first glimpse of the two captains. Pakistan win the toss and bat first!

Pakistan clearly testing themselves. "We are trying to...we would like to test our batters," Babar says. "We want to continue with our momentum. Abu Dhabi pitches are very good for batting. We are trying to put runs on the board and put pressure on them. Our first game here, so same team here. I told the boys not to be complacent."

Pakistan XI: Babar Azam, Mohammad Rizwan, Fakhar Zaman, Mohammad Hafeez, Shoaib Malik, Asif Ali, Shadab Khan, Imad Wasim, Hasan Ali, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Haris Rauf

Erasmus says "we would've bowled first. Traditionally teams that bowl first in night games have the best chance of winning the game. They are a high quality side, and an in-form side. The guys will be up for it. Two changes for us: Stephan Baard and Ben Shikingo come in for Pikki Ya France and Bernard Scholtz."

Namibia XI: Craig Williams, Stephen Baard, Gerhard Erasmus, David Wiese, Michael van Lingen, JJ Smit, Jan Frylinck, Zane Green, Ruben Trumpelmann, Jan Nicol Loftie-Eaton, Ben Shikongo.

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How should Pakistan approach this match?

Pakistan have a problem, but it is a good problem. Three wins in three is great, but they have all been in chases.

So today if the coin flip falls their way, should they bat first? Shan Masood definitely thinks so (video below, in his preview with Mahela Jayawardene), and Masood has a point. A win while defending a total can give a different kind of confidence. Some might say that there's no need to take a risk in a tournament where chasing sides have a massive advantage, but there couldn't be a better chance than today to flex those bat-first muscles. However, the downside is a the small chance of an upset, which could send a team like Pakistan into a frenzy!

The other thing Pakistan must be considering is their XI. Does Shaheen Shah Afridi, their new-ball phenom need a rest? And what about Haris Rauf, their quickest bowler who is their highest wicket-taker (6) so far? You want them fresh for the semis, but you also don't want to mess with their rhythm. "Its four overs after all", as purists often say. They can possibly also give a batter or two rest. Pakistan know what Shoaib Malik, Imad Wasim and Asif Ali will give this team - why not let Haider Ali, Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammad Wasim or Sarfaraz Ahmed a hit out instead? Let's see what they do, but for now, here's the match preview.

2:30
Should Pakistan bat first to challenge themselves?
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Four in four? Or a great WC upset?

On paper, Pakistan vs Namibia appears to be a mismatch. Despite Namibia's amazing run in the first stage of the World Cup, and a convincing win over Scotland in the Super 12, it would take a very brave cricket fan to think this game won't go Pakistan's way.

But that's the beauty of Pakistan cricket. As Nasser Hussain once said: "up one minute, down in the next" is just what you get with this cricket-crazed nation. They've made it 3 wins in 3, and victory today will confirm their spot in the semi-finals, but what's Pakistan cricket without a few surprises thrown in, eh? The first three games have been high-intensity for Pakistan, and tonight, the one way they could get caught napping is if they don't bring that same energy to the field against a less-fancied side. Let's get the ball rolling then...

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