Pakistan kept their semi-final hopes alive after they held New Zealand in their tracks to give them their first defeat of the World Cup. On a difficult batting pitch, Pakistani batsmen showed great temperament to negate the bowling threat of the dangerous New Zealand bowling line-up.
The talented Babar Azam is a centre of attention as he struck his maiden World Cup century to steer Pakistan to a victory in a tricky run chase. However, one cannot ignore Haris Sohail’s crucial contribution. The left-hander scored his second consecutive half-century since making a comeback and looked a completely different player altogether.
Haris and Babar forged the 126-run fourth-wicket stand to see Pakistan home with five balls to spare. Haris attacked spin and pace alike, muscling Santner first and later the returning Boult for sixes, easing pressure on Babar Azam subsequently.