Pakistan show signs of life with Netherlands win
Pakistan managed to register their first win of the T20 World Cup as they brushed aside the Netherlands by six wickets in a must-win affair at the Optus Stadium in Perth on Sunday.
With this win, Babar Azam's men kept their semi-final ambitions alive but will have to play out of their skin to go through as in order to qualify, Pakistan would not only have to win their next two matches against South Africa and Bangladesh but would also have to bank on arch-rivals India to do them a favour by beating the Proteas later on the day.
Batting second, Pakistan cruised across the finish line, chasing a mere 91 for nine in 13.5 overs with six wickets remaining on the back of opener Mohammad Rizwan's 39-ball 49, which included five fours.
Following the runout of Babar for four in the second over, Rizwan kept the score ticking as he stitched a 37-run stand with the returning Fakhar Zaman, who scored 20 before edging one to the keeper, and then a run-a-ball 30 run-partnership with Shan Masood, who came in at four today.
Rizwan and Masood (16) got dismissed on the verge of victory and it was Shadab Khan who scored the winning runs, driving one through mid-off to take Pakistan home. The leg-spinner had another good day at the office as he scalped three wickets for 22 runs to strangle the Dutch batting effort, for which he also won the player of the match award.
Earlier in the day, Pakistan delivered yet another clinical effort with the ball as they restricted the Dutch to a mere 91 for nine.
Mohammad Wasim took two wickets in two balls only for Paul van Meekeren to survive the hat-trick delivery, and Haris Rauf made good use of the bounce on offer.
A nasty bouncer from Rauf got through Bas de Leede's helmet grill, forcing the batsman off the ground with a bruised cheekbone.
Shadab's leg spin had Tom Cooper caught for one after the power play and then trapped Max O'Dowd lbw for eight in his next over.
After crawling to 34-3 after 10 overs, and with De Leede retired hurt in six, Netherlands captain Edwards and Colin Ackermann (27) attempted to rebuild with a 35-run stand but once they were separated the wickets kept tumbling.
Shadab trapped Ackermann lbw with a quicker and flatter delivery and Edwards fell soon after, for 15, to Naseem Shah.
Van Meekeren was last to fall, run out off the final ball for seven.