Pakistan has now qualified for the semi-finals of the 2021 T20 World Cup after defeating Namibia by 45 runs on Tuesday. Openers Mohammed Rizwan, 79 from 50 balls (unbeaten) and Babar Azam, 70 from 49 balls helped Pakistan set the pace early in the match. Both men shared a stand of 113 runs and became the first partners to share a century for the fifth time in a T20 international event. This is the first time Pakistan would be playing at the semi-finals since 2012.
Namibia, who have gotten to the farthest point in an international event so far, was overwhelmed by Pakistan. David Wiese’s impressive 43 from 31 did not have much of an impact on the result at the end of the day. Unlike in the usual Pakistan fashion, they began Tuesday’s game with a slow start, and even Rizwan struggled for a brief moment initially. But they soon picked up and the slow start allowed them to get better control of the field. The Rizwan-Azam partnership might go down as the best partnership of this year’s tournament and for the right reasons.
There was not much the other team could do, even though they played a very fine game. According to Namibia captain Gerhard Erasmus, the team regarded Pakistan as having high-quality players in an in-form team. Tuesday’s game may have ended in a loss for them, but it is also a sign that they can compete at the highest levels if they choose. With more participation in competitions like this, Namibia could build a strong T20i team. They had some brilliant performances from players like Erasmus, Stephan Baard, and Craig Williams.
Pakistan would now face Scotland in their final group game on Sunday while Namibia, who have been eliminated, would go against New Zealand this Friday.
Written by Leon Osamor