Pakistan kept their hopes of making the T20 World Cup semi-finals alive with a routine six-wicket victory over Netherlands in Perth.
Babar Azam’s team suffered successive last-ball defeats to India and Zimbabwe in their first two matches but outclassed the Dutch on Sunday, restricting their opponents to 91-9 from their 20 overs and then coasting to their target with 37 balls to spare to earn a first T20 international victory on Australian soil.
Even if Pakistan beat South Africa and Bangladesh in their final two Group 2 games, they will still be relying on other results to go their way for them to make the knockout stage, while Netherlands are now eliminated.
Pakistan gave their net run-rate a decent boost by chasing down Netherlands’ score inside 14 overs at Optus Stadium.
The one disappointment for Pakistan will be that skipper Babar Azam suffered a third consecutive single-figure dismissal, run out for four by Roelof van der Merwe’s direct hit from mid-on.
Mohammad Rizwan top-scored with 49 from 39 deliveries but missed out on a 23rd T20 international fifty when he was caught behind off Paul van Meekern with nine runs required.
With the ball, leg-spinner Shadab Khan took 3-22 and seamer Mohammad Wasim 2-15, while pacemen Naseem Shah, Shaheen Shah Afridi and Haris Rauf each struck once.
Only Colin Ackermann (27) and captain Scott Edwards (15) made double figures for Netherlands, who have now lost each of their three Super 12 matches and sit at the foot of Group 2.
Netherlands No 3 Bas de Leede (6) retied hurt after being hit on the grille by a bouncer from Rauf – there was a nasty cut under his right eye – and he was later ruled out of the game with concussion.
Wasim was on a hat-trick in the penultimate over after bowling Tim Pringle for five and Fred Klaassen for a golden duck but fizzed his next delivery just past Van Meekeren’s leg stump.
Pakistan face South Africa in Sydney on Thursday (8am UK time), while Netherlands will look to chalk up their first win of the Super 12s when they play Zimbabwe in Adelaide on Wednesday (4am UK time).
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