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22nd Match, Group A, New York, June 11, 2024, ICC Men's T20 World Cup
(17.3/20 ov, T:107) 107/3

Pakistan won by 7 wickets (with 15 balls remaining)

Player Of The Match
Cricinfo's MVP
88.19 ptsImpact List

Rizwan takes Pakistan to their first win after Amir-led quicks put on a big show

From Canada's point of view, Aaron Johnson's 44-ball 52 and Dilon Heyliger's 2 for 18 were impressive efforts

Ashish Pant
Pakistan 107 for 3 (Rizwan 53*, Babar 33, Heyliger 2-18) beat Canada 106 for 7 (Johnson 52, Amir 2-13, Rauf 2-26) by seven wickets
There was finally something at the T20 World Cup for Pakistan to be happy about as they produced a strong all-round show to record their first win of tournament, beating Canada by seven wickets in New York.
The win was set up by the fast bowlers, who combined to pick up six wickets to restrict Canada for 106 for 7 in their 20 overs despite an Aaron Johnson 44-ball 52 - that score was quick by the standards at the New York venue, and Canada's total was not insignificant at all.
In reply, Pakistan stumbled in the powerplay.
They had brought in Saim Ayub in place of Iftikhar Ahmed, and Ayub walked out to open with Mohammad Rizwan, thus splitting the Rizwan-Babar Azam partnership up top. The decision did not pay dividends, though, as Ayub fell for 6 off 12 balls.
But Babar and Rizwan brought their experience into play, adding a 63-run stand off 62 balls for the second wicket. Babar fell with victory in sight, but Rizwan stayed put, crafting an unbeaten run-a-ball 53 to give Pakistan victory 15 balls to spare.

Johnson smashes, Amir strikes

Babar won another crucial toss and had no hesitation in fielding first.
He would have hoped for "first-over Shaheen Afridi" to do his magic. But instead, it was first-over Aaron Johnson setting the stage alight. He flicked the first ball of the innings, a shin-high full toss, through mid-on for four, before pumping Afridi straight down the ground for four more next ball.
This was the first time the first two balls in a men's T20 World Cup match had been hit for boundaries. The third ball would also have gone for a straight four if not for the sluggish outfield.
Johnson then smashed Naseem Shah over backward point with Pakistan looking off the boil.
Mohammad Amir was the only one who got his length spot on from the get-go and he was duly rewarded. Navneet Dhaliwal picked him for a four through point first ball but Amir exacted revenge by sending a searing in-dipper that flattened Dhaliwal's middle stump.
Afridi and Naseem, too found their lengths soon. And though Johnson continued to play his shots, there were plenty of plays and misses. And Afridi changed his bowling end and had Pargat Singh edging to first slip as Canada reached 30 for 2 after six overs.

Pakistan quicks take control

The most crucial moment of the Canada innings came in the seventh over, when Nicholas Kirton, their best batter so far in this competition, was run out by a direct throw from Imad Wasim from the covers.
Johnson stayed put, but Canada kept losing wickets at the other end after that.
Haris Rauf struck twice in three balls when he removed Shreyas Movva to claim his 100th T20I wicket and then had Ravinderpal Singh caught at slip - Canada, after their bright start, had slipped to 55 for 5 after ten overs.
Johnson deposited Wasim twice over the ropes in two overs, the second hit fetching him his sixth T20I fifty off 39 balls. But he failed to carry on, falling for 52, his stumps rattled by Naseem.
Canada failed to inject any momentum into their innings after that, as Pakistan only conceded 29 runs in their last five overs, which included two fours and a six. In all, Canada faced 76 dot balls, the most in an innings at the men's T20 World Cup.

Another powerplay struggle for Pakistan

ESPNcricinfo's forecaster gave Pakistan a 93% of winning the game at the halfway stage. But the pitches in New York have often disrupted calculations.
Kaleem Sana gave away five wides in the first over, but apart from that, Canada were really tight with their lines. Ayub tried his shots before edging Dilon Heyliger behind. Babar, at No. 3, then had a tense moment when an appeal for a caught behind down leg was sent upstairs. But replays suggested the ball had gone off his pad.
The only four off the bat in the powerplay was struck by Rizwan in the sixth over. In comparison, Canada had hit five fours in their first six overs.
According to ESPNcricinfo's logs, 31 of the 36 deliveries from Canada in the powerplay were on a length or short of a length. And the Pakistan batters struggled to deal with them.

Pakistan get the 'W'

Junaid Siddiqui and Saad Bin Zafar had the Ireland batters in a spin in Canada's previous game, but Babar and Rizwan weren't having any of it.
Rizwan first swept Saad's full delivery through deep-backward square-leg, before Babar walloped Junaid for a six straight down the ground. The two added 31 runs between overs six and ten, and put the chase right back on track.
They kept the scoreboard ticking over before Babar fell edging Heyliger behind the stumps. Babar walked off in disgust. But Rizwan ensured he stayed till the end. He reached his 29th T20I fifty off 52 balls. It was the slowest by a Pakistan batter in the format but such were the conditions, and the win was more important.
Usman Khan hit the winning runs as Pakistan reached home in 17.3 overs. The win did not lift their NRR above that of USA, but it wasn't a bad start in trying to turn the qualification race in their favour somewhat after back-to-back losses.

Ashish Pant is a sub-editor with ESPNcricinfo

Win Probability
PAK 100%
100%50%100%CAN InningsPAK Innings

Over 18 • PAK 107/3

Fakhar Zaman c sub (DS Bajwa) b Gordon 4 (6b 0x4 0x6 15m) SR: 66.66
Pakistan won by 7 wickets (with 15 balls remaining)
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