Pakistan keep Super Eight hopes alive with seven-wicket win over Canada

Pakistan keep Super Eight hopes alive with seven-wicket win over Canada


Rizwan (53 not out) and Azam (33) played sensibly to lead Pakistan to victory with 15 balls to spare

Follow on
Follow us on Google News

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Mohammad Rizwan scored a timely half-century and Babar Azam played a captain's knock as Pakistan bounced back from successive defeats to beat Canada by seven wickets on Tuesday, keeping their hopes of reaching the T20 World Cup Super Eight stage alive.

Pakistan, third in Group A with two points after one win in three matches, have a shot at advancing to the next round if one of the group's top two sides India and United States lose both their remaining matches and Pakistan beat Ireland on Sunday.

Canada, also on two points, need United States or India to lose their remaining games and beat India themselves on Saturday to have a shot at finishing in the top two.

Batting first, Canada's Aaron Johnson (52) waged a lone battle against Pakistan's pace attack. Mohammad Amir (2-13) and Haris Rauf (2-26) led the charge, while Shaheen Afridi (1-21) and Naseem Shah (1-24) helped ensure Canada were unable to find rhythm.

Only three Canadian batters reached double digits and if not for Johnson's maiden World Cup fifty and a late flurry from Kaleem Sana (13 not out), Canada would have struggled to reach the modest total of 106-7 they posted.

The temporary arena in East Meadow, where India and South Africa defended less than run-a-ball targets in recent days, looked on course for another competitive low-scoring match as Saim Ayub (6) fell early and Pakistan looked shaky at 21-1 after five overs.

However, Rizwan (53 not out) and Azam (33) steadied the ship, taking few risks and frequently rotating strikes. A measured Azam hit one six and one four before he fell to Dillon Heyliger (2-18), but Pakistan comfortably reached their target with 15 balls to spare.

"That was a very important win," player of the match Amir said. "One more, who knows?"