Malik's explosive 18-ball 54 helps Pakistan crush Scotland
Pakistan's Shoaib Malik plays a shot during the ICC men’s Twenty20 World Cup cricket match between Pakistan and Scotland at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium in Sharjah. AFP
Pakistan inflicted a huge 72-run run defeat on Scotland in their last outing of the Super 12 stage of World Cup T20 in Sharjah.
Pakistan pacers restricted Scotland on 117-6 in their chase of 190 to win the match by 72 runs and also stay undefeated so far in the event.
The victory means Pakistan will take on Australia in the second semi-final of the event on Thursday in Dubai while England and New Zealand would face-off in the first semi-final of the event in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday.
Shadab Khan took two wickets while Shaheen Afridi, Haris Rauf and Hasan Ali grabbed one wicket each. For Scotland, Richie Berrington remained unbeaten on 54.
Shoaib Malik was named man of the match.
Earlier, Shoaib Malik hit an unbeaten 18-ball fifty and Babar Azam became the highest run-scoring batsman in the ongoing T20 World Cup with another half century as Pakistan set up Scotland a target of 189-4 runs in their last match of the Group II.
After winning the toss and electing to bat first, Pakistan were off to a cautious and slow start. Slow left-arm Hamza Tahir created problems for Pakistani openers and was rewarded by the wicket of Muhammad Rizwan who scored 15 runs.
Rizwan also surpassed West Indies explosive left-handed batsman Chris Gayle for the most runs in the T20s for a calendar year.
Fakhar Zaman had another disappointing outing as the left-handed batsman once again failed to score runs and was soon departed for eight runs off 13 balls.
Babar however continued his sublime form and took the attack to Scottish bowlers. M Hafeez also supported him well for his 31 off 19 balls including six and four boundaries. He was adjudged LBW on a delivery of Sufyan Sharif.
Greaves took the prize wicket of Babar when the latter holed out too long-on while trying to pull a ball that was not too short and ended in the hands of the fielder stationed at a slightly wide long-on. Babar made 66 runs off 47 balls hitting three sixes and four boundaries. In the process, he surpassed England’s Jos Butler as the leading run-getter in the ongoing mega event with 264 runs under his belt.
Veteran Shoaib Malik then delighted the Pakistani fans with an explosive display of batting at a time when the same was expected from the incoming batsman Asif Ali. Malik was in top form as he remained unbeaten for his 54 off just 18 balls hitting six sixers and a boundary. He reached his half-century on the last ball of the innings with a six.
Asif Ali remained unbeaten on five off four balls.
Pakistan remained unchanged for the match. Pakistani stars Babar Azam (c), Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Fakhar Zaman, Mohammad Hafeez, Shoaib Malik, Asif Ali, Shadab Khan, Imad Wasim, Hasan Ali, Shaheen Afridi, and Haris Rauf are included in the squad.
Scotland have made two changes from their previous match. From Scotland, George Munsey, Kyle Coetzer (c), Matthew Cross (wk), Dylan Budge, Michael Leask, Chris Greaves, Mark Watt, Safyaan Sharif, Bradley Wheal and Hamza Tahir are included in the team.