T20 WC: Pakistan score 185/9 against SA; Iftikhar, Shadab shine
Incredible fifties from Iftikhar Ahmed and Shadab Khan powered Pakistan to 185/9 against South Africa in the ICC T20 World Cup Super 12 clash at the Sydney Cricket Ground. The duo saved Pakistan from a batting collapse after the top four departed early. Anrich Nortje took four wickets, while the rest of the bowlers took one each. Pakistan staged a terrific comeback.
Pakistan lose three wickets in Powerplay
Pakistan lost Mohammad Rizwan in the first over to Wayne Parnell after they elected to bat. However, Mohammad Haris, who replaced injured Fakhar Zaman, struck two sixes and a four off Kagiso Rabada. Haris hammered a couple of more audacious strokes before falling to Anrich Nortje. The former smashed an 11-ball 28. Pakistan, who lost Babar Azam too, managed 42/3 in the Powerplay.
Partnership between Iftikhar Ahmed and Mohammad Nawaz
Nortje dismissed Shan Masood on the third delivery after the Powerplay. Iftikhar Ahmed and Mohammad Nawaz then shared a 52-run stand to steady Pakistan's ship. However, Nawaz's 22-ball 28 was cut short by Tabraiz Shamsi. Shadab Khan then joined Ahmed in a bid to stage a turnaround for Pakistan. The former batted in top gear right from the start.
Another forgettable knock!
The lean patch of Pakistan skipper Babar Azam continues! He is yet to score in double figures in the ongoing T20 World Cup. His scores in the tournament read 0(1) vs India, 4(9) vs Zimbabwe, 4(5) vs Netherlands, and 6(15) vs SA. All four of his dismissals have come in the Powerplay (4 innings, 30 balls, and 14 runs).
A defiant knock by Ahmed
Iftikhar Ahmed set the tone for Pakistan's innings after Pakistan lost successive wickets in the first 10 overs. He helped Pakistan recover, scoring his third half-century in T20I cricket. It was his second half-century in the ongoing T20 World Cup, having slammed his first against India in the opener. Ahmed's fifty against SA came off 33 balls.
A quickfire fifty by Shadab
While Ahmed saved Pakistan from sinking, Shadab Khan launched his counter-attack. The latter smashed the Proteas bowlers all around the ground. He raced to his maiden T20I half-century off just 20 balls, the second-fastest of the ongoing Super 12 stage. Shadab smashed 52 off 22 balls (3 fours and 4 sixes). He finished with a strike rate of 236.36.