March 20, 2023
"Stars Alignment for Pakistan" who reach the semi-finals of the T20 World Cup

“Stars Alignment for Pakistan” who reach the semi-finals of the T20 World Cup

Pakistan turned around a dismal start to reach the semi-finals of the tournament after beating Bangladesh.

Two games, two last turnovers. This is how Pakistan started its T20 World Cup campaign.

Pakistan, 2007 finalist, 2009 winner and perennial contender for the T20 crown, sealed another unexpected tournament comeback by beating Bangladesh by five wickets on Sunday and finishing in the last four where they will face either New Zealand or England.

It’s not the first time Pakistan have reached the knockout stages of a tournament like this.

Translation: We love Pakistan cricket but can’t understand it.

Her two World Cup victories (50-over format in 1992 and World T20 in 2009) came from late climbs and other results.

In 1992, Pakistan won just one of their first five matches, winning the tournament. In 2009, Pakistan lost their first group game as well as the opening game of the Super Eight but ended up becoming champions.

Commentating on tonight’s game, former Pakistan batsman Bazid Khan referred to those two tournaments when he said: “The stars are back for Pakistan and they are in the semis”.

Fast bowler Shaheen Shah Afridi delivered a match-winning performance of four wickets in 22 bowls, echoing the sentiments of Pakistani fans and players who are hoping their side will end the tournament on another high.

“We are very happy. We played great. Now we are looking forward to the final,” he said after Pakistan’s victory.

Pakistan opened their tournament campaign with a last-ball loss to arch-rivals India, followed by another last-ball loss to less-loved Zimbabwe.

By the time Pakistan played its third game, India had won two games while South Africa and Bangladesh had won one each.

Dreams had already been shattered. There was no hope. Fans had sold their tickets for the semifinals. Pakistan was down and (almost) out.

The team then played the Netherlands knowing that despite winning their last three games they would have no control over their fate.

A six-wicket win over the Netherlands earned them their first two points. They then defeated South Africa in a rainy match and went into the final day of group games hoping and praying that either the Netherlands or Zimbabwe would stage an upset and give them a chance to progress should they beat Bangladesh.

The Netherlands did just that, recording a shock win over South Africa, who seemed destined to reach the last four.

The Dutch gift put Pakistan’s fate back in their own hands and they made sure there was no slip this time as they beat Bangladesh with 11 balls to go.

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