Twitter went into overdrive after Pakistan beat New Zealand by seven wickets in the T20 World Cup 2022 semi-final against New Zealand at the Sydney Cricket Ground on Wednesday. This will be Pakistan’s third appearance in the T20 World Cup final and the first one in 13 years. They had lost to India in the inaugural edition in 2007 then won the tournament in 2009. This time, however, the journey will seem sweeter as they were almost out of the Super 12 stages after their first two matches to India and Zimbabwe. But they made a stunning comeback from there, beating South Africa, Netherlands and Bangladesh and got the biggest favour from the Dutch when they toppled South Africa to advance to the semi-final.
Paceman Shaheen Afridi led the way with 2-24 as the Black Caps were restricted to 152-4 before openers Mohammad Rizwan and Babar Azam finally found their scoring touch with half-centuries in a 105-run stand to lay the foundation for victory.
“Our start (in the tournament) was not good, but we worked hard and kept our belief,” said Rizwan, who was named man of the match for his 57 off 43 balls.
Babar and Rizwan had failed to deliver on their considerable reputations in the group stage but made up for it in some style with a blockbuster opening partnership.
The captain enjoyed a stroke of luck when he was dropped by wicketkeeper Conway off his first ball from Trent Boult but hammered 53 runs off the next 41 deliveries he faced before holing out in the deep.
Rizwan reached the half-century mark soon afterwards before also holing out but Mohammad Haris kept up the pace with a bright 30 and Shan Masood got them over the line at 153-3 with five balls to spare.
Here is how Twitter reacted to Pakistan’s victory over New Zealand in the T20 World Cup semi-final
Pakistan’s victory also strengthens the India vs Pakistan T20 World Cup final anticipation. If India beat England in the second semi-final at the Adelaide Oval on Thursday then it will be a repeat of the inaugural edition final. The stakes will be higher though as it will be in front of a close to 100 thousand people at the MCG in Melbourne.