Pakistan rout Namibia to book semis spot

·2-min read

Pakistan have become the first side at the T20 World Cup to guarantee a place in the semi-finals after maintaining their perfect record in the Super 12s, comfortably beating Namibia by 45 runs in Abu Dhabi.

Babar Azam took a slight gamble by electing to bat first after winning the toss in a tournament where the chasing team has often prevailed but the Pakistan captain vindicated the decision with a sparkling 70 from 49 balls.

Fellow opener Mohammad Rizwan finished unbeaten on 79 off 50 while Mohammad Hafeez had a cameo of 32 at a strike-rate of 200 as Pakistan clobbered 62 runs from the last 23 deliveries of the innings to finish on 2-189.

Rizwan, who was adjudged man-of-the-match, plundered 24 runs from the final over from JJ Smit which read 4,6,4,4,4,2.

"It was a different plan today, we wanted that opening partnership to go deep and it worked for us," Babar said.

"Everything has gone according to plan. We're looking forward to the semi-finals and playing our cricket with the same intensity."

Namibia kept themselves in the game by advancing to 70 for two at the midway point of their reply but, as they attempted to inject some urgency into proceedings ,they stumbled to 5-110 in the 17th over.

Not even a couple of big hits from David Wiese towards the end in a 31-ball 43 could get Namibia close as they settled for 5-144, likely ending their hopes of a place in the knockout rounds.

"We knew from the start that Pakistan are high quality, they look like title contenders," Namibia captain Gerhard Erasmus said.

"We spoke about competing and be better for longer... I thought Pakistan were fantastic in the back 10 and their quality shone through."

Pakistan can make sure they finish top of their group by beating Scotland in Sharjah on Sunday.

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