Pakistan's stars find form before final

Pakistan captain Babar Azam has declared that the rhythm is back in his batting and he can carry his form into the Twenty20 World Cup final.

Babar returned to form in Wednesday night's semi-final win over New Zealand at the SCG, scoring 53 as Pakistan chased down the Black Caps' 4-152 with five balls to spare.

In doing so, Babar made good on batting coach Matthew Hayden's promise that he would rebound in a big match, setting the tone with Mohammad Rizwan in the chase.

Just days after looking like their tournament was over, Pakistan will now feature in their first World Cup final since 2008 against either India or England at the MCG on Sunday.

There they could replicate the feats of their great 1992 team, who came from the dead in the 50-over World Cup in Australia to beat England in the final.

But in order to do so, Pakistan need Babar firing.

One of the world's best Twenty20 bats for the past six years, Babar made scores of 4, 4, 6 and 25 at a strike-rate of 61.90 before Wednesday night.

It prompted Hayden to back Babar in the build-up to Wednesday night, claiming he could follow in the footsteps of Adam Gilchrist's return to form in the 2007 ODI World Cup final.

Babar was dropped first ball by New Zealand wicketkeeper Devon Conway, but then appeared to find fluency again as he drove and cut his way into form.

"I'm very confident about my batting," Babar said.

"I struggled a bit in a few matches but today I felt good. So I will continue that rhythm in the final.

"Such up and down in form is part and parcel of the game, every player goes through such phases.

"I could not perform well in the first three matches but it could not shake my belief in myself. My teammates also kept their faith in me."

Pakistan will likely enter the final as underdogs, with India and England having usurped them as the world's best T20 teams in recent years.

But at their best, Pakistan are capable of beating any side.

Afyer the triumph, Babar labelled left-armer Shaheen Shah Afridi the best bowler in the world, having taken 10 wickets at 7.9 and with an economy rate of 5.27 in his past four matches.

With the bat Mohammad Rizwan also played his finest knock of the World Cup against New Zealand with 57 off 43, after he and Babar showed why they've long been regarded as the world's best opening pair.

"When you perform, it's very satisfying and I try to perform every time I go out," Babar said.

"Today, both Rizwan and I decided to attack in the powerplay ... it gave us a momentum which we didn't drop."