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Pakistan beat Canada to stay alive at T20 World Cup

Mohammad Amir was the player of match for finishing with 2-13
Photo via X/@ICC
Photo via X/@ICC

Pakistan beat Canada by seven wickets in their do-or-die T20 World Cup clash on Tuesday despite opener Aaron Johnson hitting his sixth international fifty.

“That was a much-needed win,” Pakistan’s fast bowler Mohammad Amir said after getting the Player of the Match award.

He finished with 2-13 in four overs. The left-arm pacer gave the breakthrough to his side in the contest. They were brilliant with bowling and fielding.

“I think we are going with the same mindset to win the game. We will try to play our best cricket,” Pakistan’s skipper Babar Azam said after the match.

He was hopeful that the Central Broward Park & Broward County Stadium, where they would face Ireland in their next do-or-die contest would be a better track than the New York.

Many cricketers have expressed concerns over the drop-in pitch because of its sudden bounce and dip.

But they would need the United States of America to lose their next two matches.

When asked whether the Green Shirts knew that they had to win the game in 14 overs, Azam replied in affirmative but added that it takes six overs for a team to settle in the New York pitch.

Commentator Ramiz Raja also mentioned the moment when Pakistan’s skipper got angry after getting out. Azam said that he got upset as it was the second time he got out in the same way. He advised him to avoid playing that shot then.

Pakistan, the 2009 champions and runners-up in 2022, lost both their first two Group A fixtures.

A stunning super-over humiliation at the hands of the United States was followed by a six-run loss to bitter rivals India in a game where they failed to chase down a modest 120-run target.

But this win at the same Nassau County International Stadium where they came up short against India might not be enough to secure a place in the second round Super Eights.

Johnson demonstrated his attacking intent from the start, cracking successive boundaries off the first two balls he faced from Shaheen Shah Afridi.

The Jamaican born 33-year-old opener made 52 off 44 balls with four boundaries and four sixes before he was eventually out in the 14th over with the score on 73-6, clean-bowled by Naseem Shah.

Johnson was the only batsman in the top six to reach double figures as Pakistan’s seamers took wickets on a regular basis.

Mohammad Amir clean-bowled Navneet Dhaliwal (four) with a 141 km/h delivery which sliced through the defences of the opener.

Shaheen recovered from conceding 10 runs off his first over to get rid of Pargat Singh (two) before Nicholas Kirton (one) was run out by a superb throw by Imad Wasim.

Haris Rauf sent back Shreyas Movva (two) – for his 100th wicket in the format – and Ravinderpal Singh (nought) in the space of three balls as Canada reached 55-5 after 10 overs.

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Once Johnson was out, Canada struggled to press the accelerator and had added just 14 more runs off 20 balls when skipper Saad Bin Zafar (10) top-edged Amir to Mohammad Rizwan behind the stumps.

Amir finished with 2-13 while Rauf claimed 2-26.

Canada have two points after a loss to the USA and a 12-run win over Ireland.

India and the USA lead the Group A standings with four points each.

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ICC Men's T20 World Cup 2024

ICC Men's T20 World Cup