Updated: November 12, 2021 1:57:18 pm
Pakistan’s Australian batting consultant Matthew Hayden heaped praise on Mohammad Rizwan during the innings break of the semifinal match of the T20 World Cup between Australia and Pakistan, labelling the Pakistan batsman as a “warrior.”
“Obviously, there’s a conflict of interests, my heart is all for Australia. But this was a fantastic opportunity with Pakistan, big fan of this batting line-up, have performed superbly right through with the bat all along and tonight is no exception. Rizwan was in hospital a night ago, suffering from a bronchitis condition, but this is a warrior, a quiet start to tonight’s campaign, but he has great courage, so has Babar, fantastic to see them combine so well,” Hayden said after the first innings on Star Sports
Rizwan struck his third half-century of the tournament before Fakhar Zaman roared back to form with a 32-ball unbeaten 55 to power Pakistan to 176 for four in the semifinal.
Openers Rizwan (67 off 52) and Babar Azam (39 off 44) shared a 71-run stand before Zaman ended the innings on a high with his unbeaten knock.
The last five overs yielded 59 runs for Pakistan.
Pakistan enjoyed their best powerplay of the tournament, racing to 47 for no loss in six overs after Australia put them in to bat.
Rizwan, who was down with flu ahead of the game, did not look at his best early on and Babar took the lead in attacking the Australian pace attack. The Aussies were looking for some swing early on but they were not able to get it.
Rizwan spent two nights in a hospital due to a chest infection before the team’s semifinal loss against Australia on Thursday in cricket’s Twenty20 World Cup.
Team doctor Najeeb Soomro said Rizwan was admitted to the intensive care unit in a local hospital in Dubai on Tuesday, but was declared fit on the morning of the semifinal.
“He spent two nights in the ICU, made an incredible recovery and was deemed fit before the match,” Soomro said after Pakistan lost by five wickets with Matthew Wade smashing three successive sixes against Shaheen Afridi in the penultimate over.
“We can see his great determination and tenacity that shows his spirit of performing for the country and we can see how he responded today.”
Rizwan was twice dropped before making 67, but Pakistan’s 176-4 couldn’t prove enough in the end as Australia reached 177-5 with an over to spare.
Rizwan finished the tournament as the second highest run-scorer behind captain Babar Azam’s 303. He made 281 runs with three half centuries and also became the first batter in the world to complete 1,000 T20 runs in a calendar year.
(With AP inputs)
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