From the verge of extinction, Pakistan once again proved that cricket is a game of glorious uncertainties when they defeated New Zealand in the semi-final of the T20 World Cup to reach the final on Wednesday.

Pakistan rode luck and beat New Zealand by seven wickets in a virtual one-sided encounter as Kiwis dropped catches and put up a poor batting show.

Set 153 runs to win the semi-final, Pakistan achieved the target with five balls to spare. In the process, Rizwan and Babar became the first pair in the T20 history to share three 100-run partnerships.

Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan scored their first half centuries of the present T20 World Cup. Rizwan was adjudged man of the match for his 57 runs. Babar was dropped when he did not open his account. He scored 53 runs.

Pakistan lost Mohammad Haris contributed 30 runs off 26 balls before falling to Santner on the last ball of the 19th over.

KIWIS INNINGS: Earlier, Daryl Mitchell’s half-century helped New Zealand reached 152 losing four wickets after skipper Kane Williamson opted to bat first.

Shaheen Afridi gave Pakistan a perfect start by removing opener Finn Allen on the third delivery of his first over. Pakistan bowlers did not allow Kiwis to spread wings and restricted them to 49 for three at the end of the eight overs.

But a 68-run partnership between Kane Williamson and Mitchell brought New Zealand back into the game.

The partnership was looking threatening for Pakistan and had it continued New Zealand may have needed a higher total. However, Shaheen dismissed Williamson in the 17th over to stop New Zealand’s charge.

However, Mitchell along with James Neesham helped the Black Caps end the innings at 152/4.

For New Zealand, Mitchell was the highest scorer and remained unbeaten for 53.

Playing XI

Pakistan: Babar Azam (c), Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Mohammad Haris, Shan Masood, Iftikhar Ahmed, Shadab Khan, Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammad Wasim Jr, Naseem Shah, Haris Rauf, Shaheen Shah Afridi.

New Zealand: Kane Williamson (c), Devon Conway (wk), Finn Allen, Glenn Phillips, Daryl Mitchell, Jimmy Neesham, Mitchell Santner,  Tim Southee, Ish Sodhi, Lockie Ferguson, Trent Boult.

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