Abu Dhabi: After notching up three successive wins against India, New Zealand and Afghanistan, Pakistan is on the brink of qualifying for the semi-finals and is aiming to seal the spot with a win against Namibia in Abu Dhabi tonight (Tuesday).
Pakistan and Namibia will face each other for the first time in T20Is. Namibia will face their sternest test yet against Pakistan, who have been unstoppable so far in the Super 12 of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021.
Unbeaten in the T20 World Cup so far, Pakistan have gone from dark horses for the tournament to one of the strong favourites in just three games.
While bowling has historically been Pakistan’s strong suit, the team’s batting, led from the front by captain Babar Azam, has bailed them out of trouble twice in the last two games.
Namibia, on the other hand, come into this game on the back of their first loss in the Super 12 to Afghanistan. While it was expected that the Eagles would find it difficult to deal with the spinners in Afghanistan’s ranks, Namibia were done by the pacers who claimed seven of the nine wickets that fell.
As such, Namibia will have their task cut out facing the dangerous pace bowling trio of Shaheen Afridi, Haris Rauf and Hasan Ali, who have accounted for 14 of the 21 wickets Pakistan have claimed so far. The spinners, too, have played their roles to perfection, giving little respite to opposition batters between overs of searing pace.
If the Namibian batters are to hold their own against Pakistan, they will be banking on their “Bomb Squad”, consisting of captain Gerhard Erasmus, David Wiese and JJ Smit, to make a collective impact.
Pakistan XI: Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Babar Azam (captain), Fakhar Zaman, Mohammad Hafeez, Shoaib Malik, Asif Ali, Imad Wasim, Shadab Khan, Hasan Ali, Haris Rauf, Shaheen Afridi.