Mohammad Rizwan and Babar Azam. PC- Getty
Mohammad Rizwan and Babar Azam. PC- Getty

Pakistan defeated New Zealand by seven wickets in the first semi-final of the ICC T20 World Cup at the Sydney Cricket Ground on Wednesday, November 9. The Babar Azam-led team advanced to the finals for the third time in the T20 World Cup and for the first time since 2009, where they defeated Sri Lanka.

The Pakistan cricket team’s mentor, Matthew Hayden, praised Babar Azam for helping his opening partner, Mohammad Rizwan, ahead of the semifinal.

Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan put forth their A-game and attacked aggressively in the power play, scoring 55 runs after six overs. The opening duo added a 105-run opening partnership in 12.4 overs after Pakistan were asked to chase down 153. Babar scored 46, and his opening partner Rizwan, who scored 57 runs off 43 balls, was named the “Man of the Match” and led the team to victory with seven wickets in hand and five balls to spare.

Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan
Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan. Pic Credits: Twitter

It Was Just An Extraordinary Effort – Matthew Hayden

Hayden, who joined the Pakistan national team in September, praised Babar for sending throwdowns to Rizwan ahead of the SCG encounter. Hayden mentioned this in a dressing room video posted on Pakistan Cricket’s Twitter handle.

“Sensational performance. I think as coaches and a team, we can only ask about giving our best and clearly tonight that was the case.

“It was just an extraordinary effort. I want to make a special mention to a moment that I saw at the start of play and that was Babar throwing balls to Rizzy and I thought, from an opening partnership’s point of view, that’s exactly what this team requires,” Hayden said.

Matthew Hayden
Matthew Hayden (PC-Twitter)

Pakistan will face the winner of the second semi-final between India and England on Sunday, November 13 at the iconic Melbourne Cricket Ground.

T20 World Cup Final 2022: "He Throwing Balls To Rizzy And I Thought, From An Opening Partnership’s Point Of View, That’s Exactly What This Team Requires" - Matthew Hayden Hails Babar Azam T20 World Cup Final 2022: "He Throwing Balls To Rizzy And I Thought, From An Opening Partnership’s Point Of View, That’s Exactly What This Team Requires" - Matthew Hayden Hails Babar Azam T20 World Cup Final 2022: "He Throwing Balls To Rizzy And I Thought, From An Opening Partnership’s Point Of View, That’s Exactly What This Team Requires" - Matthew Hayden Hails Babar Azam T20 World Cup Final 2022: "He Throwing Balls To Rizzy And I Thought, From An Opening Partnership’s Point Of View, That’s Exactly What This Team Requires" - Matthew Hayden Hails Babar Azam

Also Read: IND vs ENG: “They Take A Little Bit Of More Time To Settle, They Are Not As Aggressive, They Are A Little Conservative” – Former Australian Spinner Brad Hogg Says On India’s Opening Pair