Perfect Pakistan faces Australia in semifinals; NZ v England

SHARJAH, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Pakistan remained the only unbeaten team at the cricket T20 World Cup and stormed into the semifinals with an emphatic 72-run win over Scotland in their last Group 2 game on Sunday.

The 2009 champion, which won all five of its group games, faces Australia in the semifinals, while England meets New Zealand.

Shoaib Malik smashed 54 not out off just 18 balls — Pakistan’s fastest fifty in a Twenty20 game — and captain Babar Azam (66) notched his fourth half century in the tournament to lead their side to a strong 189-4 after Pakistan won the toss and chose to bat.

Scotland fought timidly to reach 117-6 and ended the tournament with five successive losses in the Super 12s. Scotland had qualified on the back of three straight wins that included an upset victory over Bangladesh.

Richie Berrington top-scored for Scotland with an unbeaten 54 but other batters struggled against both spin and pace. Legspinner Shadab Khan claimed 2-14 in yet another convincing win for Pakistan.

Malik’s brutal onslaught saw the most experienced T20 player in the world smashing a total of six sixes as he took the inexperienced Scotland bowling apart in the last five overs.

Legspinner Chris Greaves (2-43), who had claimed two wickets, was hit for 26 by Malik in the last over as the batter brought up his half century off the last ball with a six over midwicket.

Babar continued his supreme batting form in the tournament, hitting five boundaries and three sixes before holing out in the deep off Greaves in the 18th over. Mohammad Hafeez struck 31 off 19 balls as Scotland conceded 77 runs in the last five overs.

Pakistan finished top of Group 2 with 10 points, two more than second-place New Zealand.


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