With the culmination of the Super 12 phase on a frantic Sunday that witnessed a dramatic upset, the ICC Men's T20 World Cup 2022 has its two semi-final fixtures on the calendar. The triple-header on Sunday began with a shock loss for South Africa, who exited the tournament to open the gates for Pakistan or Bangladesh to qualify. At the same venue, Pakistan beat Bangladesh to seal their semi-final spot.
With New Zealand and England having already sealed their qualification after Saturday's round of matches, Group 2 witnessed some drama with the Proteas going down to Netherlands in a stunning loss for the Temba Bavuma-led side, who were once on top of the table before back-to-back losses against Pakistan and Netherlands.
Pakistan's win over Bangladesh ensured that they would be the fourth semi-finalists in the tournament with India joining England and New Zealand earlier in the day following South Africa's exit. India beat Zimbabwe by 71 runs in the final Super 12 clash and as Group 2 toppers set up a semi-final meeting with England. Meanwhile, Pakistan will face Group 1 toppers New Zealand in the first semi-final.
1st semi-final: New Zealand v Pakistan - November 9 - SCG, Sydney
2nd semi-final: India v England - November 10 - Adelaide Oval, Adelaide
New Zealand in semis
New Zealand became the first team to reach the semifinals with a victory over Ireland. A Kane Williamson half-century and a spin-bowling assault fired the Black Caps to a 35-run victory at the Adelaide Oval which sealed one of the top two spots in Group 1 and a place in the last four.
Glenn Maxwell scored an unbeaten half century and spinner Adam Zampa took a crucial 2-22 as defending champions Australia later joined New Zealand on seven points after a win by just four runs over the Afghans at the same venue.
It was not, however, enough to raise their net run rate above that of England, who now need only to beat Sri Lanka in their final Super 12 match in Sydney on Saturday to take the other semifinal berth from the group.
England too in semis
England avoided Sri Lanka scare to enter the semi-finals on Saturday. The side chased down a target of 142 against the Lankans with 4 wickets in hand and two balls to spare. England choked towards the end despite Alex Hales' 47 off 30 at the start, but Ben Stokes' unbeaten 42 off 36 took them through. Earlier, Pathum Nissanka hit a gutsy half-century (67 off 45) but Mark Wood's 3 for 26 helped England restrict Sri Lanka to 141 for 8. Sri Lanka captain Dasun Shanaka had won the toss and elected to bat.
India beat Zimbabwe to top group
Suryakumar Yadav (61 not out) was the highlight of India’s 71-run decimation of Zimbabwe at the ‘G’ on Sunday night. KL Rahul too chipped in with a second consecutive half-century before the bowlers made quick work of the opposition lineup to hammer home the point that there would be no change in the status quo when India took the field. The day had started, after all, with the Netherlands upsetting South Africa to upend all predictions in Group 2, but a brutally dominating performance ensured that India ended as group toppers. They will now play England in the second semifinal at the Adelaide Oval on Thursday. Surya’s repertoire of audacious strokeplay, all powerful wrists and maddening angles even as he chases perfection at the point of contact, was on view as India, batting first, exploded to 186/5 in 20 overs after another sedate start.
Shaheen stars as Pak seal SF berth
Fast bowler Shaheen Shah Afridi returned career-best figures of 4-22 to lead Pakistan into the T20 World Cup semifinals with a five-wicket win over Bangladesh in a do-or-die clash on Sunday. Chasing a modest 128 for victory, Pakistan achieved their target with 11 balls to spare and join India in the final four from Group 2. The clash turned into a virtual quarterfinal after the Netherlands stunned South Africa, a result which put India into the semis.
Pakistan bounced back from opening defeat against India and a shock loss to Zimbabwe to outplay South Africa last week. They had a spring in their step after the shock South Africa loss earlier Sunday and Shaheen struck early as the left-arm quick sent back Liton Das for 10 following Bangladesh’s decision to bat first at the Adelaide Oval. Najmul Hossain Shanto capitalised on a reprieve when the usually safe Shadab Khan dropped the left-handed batsman on 11 at short extra. The opener went on to top-score with 54 for Bangladesh.