Sri Lanka: Pakistan reach Cricket World T20 semis

COLOMBO, (The News): Good news for Pakistan cricket fans: the Greenshirts have qualified for the semi-finals of the ICC World Twenty20.

Pakistan did what they needed to do earlier in the day when they defeated Australia by a big margin of 32 runs here at the R Premadasa Cricket Stadium. They then had to wait for the result of Tuesday’s second game in Group 2 between India and South Africa.

Although India beat South Africa in a thrilling match by just one run and finished tied with Australia and Pakistan with four points each, it went out of the tournament because of an inferior net run-rate.

Australia finished their Group 2 engagements with a net run-rate of +0.464, Pakistan had a net run-rate of +0.273 while India’s net run-rate after three matches was -0.274.

The semi-finalists from Group 1 were decided on Monday. Pakistan will meet Sri Lanka in the first semi-final tomorrow (Thursday) while the second semi-final will be played between Australia and the West Indies on October 5. The final is slated for October 7.

India needed to win by at least 31 runs against South Africa to edge out Pakistan from the semi-final race. Batting first, MS Dhoni’s team scored 152-6 in 20 overs and South Africa replied with 151 all out in 19.5 overs.

All the members of the Pakistan team watched the India-South Africa match in batches in their hotel rooms.

The Pakistan team supporters, who are here in Colombo in great numbers, stayed on at the R Premadasa Stadium to watch the second match and as soon as South Africa scored the 122nd run of their innings, there was a loud cheer from them.

Pakistan is one of the most consistent teams in the short history of the ICC World Twenty20. The Greenshirts were the losing finalists in the first edition held in South Africa in 2007. Under Younis Khan’s captaincy, Pakistan lifted the title in England in 2009 while they were the losing semi-finalists in the West Indies in 2010.

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