Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan took their game to the next level when it mattered the most as Pakistan stormed into the T20 World Cup final with a convincing seven-wicket win over New Zealand here on Wednesday (November 9). Twitterati hail the Pakistan side for making it to the final after being called off.

Chasing 153 after restricting New Zealand to 152 for four on a slow SCG track, the Men in Green lost just three wickets in the process and reached home with consummate ease.

Skipper Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan’s attacking fifties helped Pakistan book their place in the final after 13 years. This will be Pakistan’s third appearance in the T20 World Cup final.

T20 World Cup 2022: Babar Azam-Mohammad Rizwan help Pakistan enter WC final after 13 years

They had finished runners-up to India in the inaugural edition in 2007 before claiming the title two years later. The win over New Zealand, last edition’s runners-up side, also kept the prospect of a mouth-watering India-Pakistan final in Melbourne on Sunday alive, provided Rohit Sharma’s men beat England in the second semifinal in Adelaide on Thursday (November 10).

Babar – who was dropped for a duck – rode on his luck to register his highest score in the tournament — 53 off 42 balls — while Rizwan made 57 off 43 deliveries as Pakistan romped home with five balls to spare. The duo got Pakistan off to a blazing start, going hammer and tongs against the Kiwi bowlers.

Unlike New Zealand, the Pakistani openers looked at ease with the pace of the surface. Known for their brilliant fielding, the Kiwis looked a different side on Wednesday as they struggled on the field.

Opting to bat, New Zealand batters found the going tough on a used SCG track as they struggled to connect the ball due to the slow nature of the surface. Mitchell (53 not out off 35) and skipper Kane Williamson (46 off 42) resurrected New Zealand’s innings after early jolts to take their side past the 150-run mark.

The cricketing fraternity congratulated Pakistan for the stellar show on the knockout stage and lauded the rejuvenated side for its performance. Here’s how netizens reacted: