Pakistan become first team to make T20 World Cup semi-finals

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Pakistan captain Babar Azam shone in his side’s win over Namibia (Aijaz Rahi/AP/PA) (AP)
Pakistan captain Babar Azam shone in his side’s win over Namibia (Aijaz Rahi/AP/PA) (AP)

Pakistan became the first side at the T20 World Cup to guarantee a place in the semi-finals after collecting their fourth win from four Super 12 matches, comfortably beating Namibia by 45 runs in Abu Dhabi

Babar Azam took a slight gamble by electing to bat first after winning the toss in a tournament where the chasing team has often prevailed but the Pakistan captain vindicated the decision with a sparkling 70 from 49 balls.

Fellow opener Mohammad Rizwan finished unbeaten on 79 while Mohammad Hafeez had a cameo of 32 at a strike-rate of 200 as Pakistan clobbered 62 runs from the last 23 deliveries of the innings to finish on 189 for two.

Namibia kept themselves in the game by advancing to 70 for two at the midway point of their reply but, as they attempted to inject some urgency into proceedings, they stumbled to 110 for five in the 17th over.

Even a couple of big hits from JJ Smits towards the end as he finished on 43 off 31 balls could get Namibia nowhere close as they settled for 144 for five, likely ending their hopes of a place in the knockout rounds.

Pace bowlers Hasan Ali and Haris Rauf and spinners Imad Wasim and Shadab Khan collected a wicket apiece while there was also a run out as Pakistan maintained their 100 per cent record at the tournament.

A haul of eight points now cannot be exceeded by any team in their group and although it could still be matched by Afghanistan or New Zealand, those two teams still have each other to play.

Pakistan can make sure they finish top of their group by beating Scotland in Sharjah on Sunday.

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