Pakistan captain Babar Azam urged his side to relish the moment after reaching their first T20 World Cup final in 13 years with victory over New Zealand.

A wonderful opening stand of 105 from the skipper and Mohammad Rizwan (57) guided them to a seven-wicket victory over the Black Caps in the first semi-final in Sydney, as they successfully chased down 153.

It sends Pakistan into the tournament's showpiece game for the first time since 2009, when they defeated Sri Lanka by eight wickets at Lord's to lift the trophy for the first and only time in their history.

Having sneaked into the semi-finals thanks to a shock South Africa collapse against the Netherlands in Group 2, Babar's side could now go all the way - and he says they will celebrate their achievement justly.

"We will enjoy this moment, but at the same time we will focus on the final," Babar said after scoring 53 from 42 balls.

"The way the team performed in the last three matches [has been incredible]. Thanks to the crowd, it feels like we are playing at home.

"We had a really good start with the first six overs, we knew our spinners could then come on later. We were happy to chase around 150.

"Then we had a plan before the chase to attack the first six overs, so we could get the momentum. We knew later on the other players could chip in.

"We don't know who we've got yet, so we will be watching tomorrow, but we have got a few days to get together and discuss that game."

Pakistan will await either India or England, who meet on Thursday in the second semi-final in Adelaide.

Ben Stokes is backing England to improve on their group-stage performances when they face India in a "do or die" T20 World Cup semi-final.

Stokes' unbeaten 42 helped England to a four-wicket win over Sri Lanka on Saturday, ensuring they progressed from Group 1 after bouncing back from their below-par start to the tournament.

Things looked bleak for Jos Buttler's team when they slipped to a shock defeat against Ireland in their second group game, while they were also forced to endure a nervy finish against Sri Lanka after losing five wickets in the space of just seven overs.

However, Stokes expects England to produce a more polished display in Adelaide on Thursday, saying: "We had a few up and down moments in the group stages, but we can forget about those now. 

"We know if we execute anywhere near where we want to be then we will be a very hard team to beat.

"We're in a position now that it's do or die. What I don't think anyone will do is take a backward step. 

"We talk a lot about how we want to play when it comes to the pressure moments, and what we'll see here is us trying to deliver on what we talk about, not taking the cautious option."

Stokes was part of the England team that beat India en route to being crowned ODI world champions in 2019, and he thinks Buttler's side must replicate the approach they adopted in that win.

"It's the way we went out and played that game, rather than looking at the result, just look at the mindset and mentality," Stokes said.

"We didn't take a backward step, so I think we can take a lot of confidence, knowing that if we go in with a similar mindset then hopefully, we'll do alright."

Meanwhile, Stokes says England will trust the advice of security consultant Reg Dickason as they prepare for a red-ball tour of Pakistan next month, with the build-up to that visit being overshadowed by a gun attack on Imran Khan.

"Obviously what happened last week was a bit of a shock to see," Stokes said. "But Reg has been out there. He's the best man to assess the situation.

"Whatever Reg comes back with, the players and the people going out on that tour 100 per cent trust him, because he's a man you trust with your life."

Sri Lanka have suspended batter Danushka Gunathilaka indefinitely after he was refused bail in a Sydney court after being charged over an alleged sexual assault.

Gunathilaka has been charged with four counts of sexual intercourse without consent while at the T20 World Cup in Australia.

The 31-year-old was taken into custody following his country's final World Cup game against England.

Gunathilaka was denied bail initially on Sunday, and was refused again on Monday in court.

A statement from Sri Lanka Cricket's governing board read: "The Executive Committee of Sri Lanka Cricket decided to suspend national player Danushka Gunathilaka from all forms of cricket with immediate effect.

"Furthermore, Sri Lanka Cricket will take the necessary steps to promptly carry out an inquiry into the alleged offense, and, upon conclusion of the aforementioned court case in Australia, steps will be taken to penalize the said player if found guilty.

"Sri Lanka Cricket wishes to emphasize that it adopts a "zero tolerance" policy for any such conduct by a player and will provide all the required support to the Australian law enforcement authorities to carry out an impartial inquiry into the incident."

Gunathilaka was ruled out of the T20 World Cup through injury last month after facing Namibia and had remained in camp with the rest of the squad.

He only returned to the Sri Lanka team after a year-long ban for breaking bio-secure bubble conditions during the COVID-19 pandemic was lifted prematurely in January.

Gunathilaka was a member of the squad that won the Asia Cup in September, and had been expected to feature regularly across the T20 World Cup until his injury.

Sir Vivian Richards has questioned the commitment of the current crop of West Indies players and has expressed his disappointment at the team’s performance and early exit from the 2022 T20 World Cup in Australia.

Rohit Sharma believes Suryakumar Yadav is getting better and better as the India captain hailed his team-mate's form as "remarkable".

Yadav scored an unbeaten 61 from just 25 deliveries on Sunday against Zimbabwe to help seal a 71-run victory, sealing India's progression to the T20 World Cup semi-finals as Group 2 winners.

India will now face England, who edged out Sri Lanka on Saturday to progress into the last four at the expense of hosts Australia, for a place in the final.

Yadav has been in fine form throughout the tournament. The 32-year-old has scored 225 runs across his five innings, while his knock at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Sunday included 10 boundaries, with four of those beating the rope entirely. 

"What Suryakumar is doing for the team is remarkable, just coming out there, playing that way, taking the pressure off the others," Rohit said.

"We know his ability, and it allows the guy at the other end to take his time.

"The dugout can really be at ease when he bats, and he's shown a lot of composure when he's batted. We expected this from him, and he's gone from strength to strength."

Despite being pleased with India's display against Zimbabwe, Rohit is looking for a step up in their level against England in Adelaide.

"[It was] a very good all-round performance, [which was] something we were looking for," Rohit said.

"We had qualified, but we wanted to come out and play the way we wanted to play, which we achieved.

"We have played a game there, but we need to adjust quickly. England are a good team, and it will be a great contest.

"We should take pride in qualifying, firstly, and if we play that semi-final well, we have another big game as well."

Suryakumar Yadav's unbeaten half-century saw India top Group 2 at the T20 World Cup as they set up a semi-final clash with England following a comfortable 71-run victory over Zimbabwe in Melbourne.

Heading into Sunday's game, Rohit Sharma's side knew their place in the last four was already secured after South Africa fell to a shock loss against the Netherlands earlier in the day.

But with top spot on the line after Pakistan comprehensively beat Bangladesh by five wickets, India knew they would need to post a similarly convincing win to overhaul their rivals.

They responded to the challenge with impressive power, guided by a freewheeling 61 not out off 25 balls for Yadav, ably supported by earlier knocks for KL Rahul (51) and Virat Kohli (26) to post a fearsome 186-5.

Sean Williams posted Zimbabwe's best bowling figures with 2-9, but could not help his side avoid leaking runs, and any prospect of a Zimbabwe chase appeared slim when Wesley Madhevere was caught first ball.

Sikandar Raza (34) and Ryan Burl (35) were valiant in pursuit, but India were out of sight thanks to a bowling attack led by Ravichandran Ashwin (3-22), to set up a showdown with England in Adelaide next week.

Yadav steadies fort after early wobbles

There was one nervy moment for India as they lost three wickets – Kohli, Rahul and Rishabh Pant – for 14 runs in a flash, slipping from 87-1 to 101-4.

But Yadav's emphatic turn ensured India put up a daunting total that proved well beyond Zimbabwe.

Zimbabwe head home on a whimper

Having delivered one of the shocks of the tournament when they edged Pakistan by one run, a result that seemingly took the latter out of semi-final consideration at one point, this was a lacklustre final bow from Zimbabwe.

Though Craig Ervine's side were always likely to face an uphill battle to chase down India, their poor choices combined with a lethal opposition bowling attack left them with their lowest full-innings total at this year's T20 World Cup.

South Africa captain Temba Bavuma says he will not make an "emotional" decision over his future as skipper after his side's shock exit from the T20 World Cup.

The Proteas fumbled their final game against an impressive Netherlands side, coming up short in a 13-run loss that allowed Pakistan to capitalise and leapfrog them into the top two.

That sends the latter and India through to join New Zealand and England in the knockout stages of this year's tournament, leaving South Africa out in the cold after just two wins.

Having missed out on qualification to the semi-finals a year ago following an inferior net run rate, it marks the second successive T20 World Cup in which they have underperformed, but Bavuma is in no rush to decide his next steps.

"It's been a tricky time," he stated. "To be considering that now, a lot of it will be emotional, in terms of my role as captain within the team. It's something I will think about. I will speak to the relevant people.

"We have to see who comes in as a coach. Generally when you have changes like that, they might come in with a different style.

"They might find a different leader to execute whatever vision or style of play that they have. It will be emotional now if I think about all of that."

Bavuma admitted the burden of captaincy amid frustrating tournaments for his side had been near the front of his thoughts, adding: "Mentally, it does eat at you as a player.

"You try to manage your mental space as much as you can. You try to control what gets to you but with social media, whatever is being said out there always gets to you.

"I always try to keep a level head, through all the good and the bad times. I try to be as close to myself as possible. Not just for myself but for this group. We are going to take a lot of flack as a group and rightly so."

Sri Lanka batsman Danushka Gunathilaka has been arrested in Sydney over allegations of sexual assault following his side's exit from the T20 World Cup.

The 31-year-old is due in court on November 7 after he was taken into custody by Australian authorities following his country's final Group 1 game against England.

Gunathilaka, who had been originally named in the squad but was ruled out through injury in October, had remained with the team during their campaign.

In a brief statement, Sri Lanka Cricket confirmed it had been informed of the player's charges, and would conduct its own investigation alongside that of the police.

"Sri Lanka Cricket confirms that it was notified by the ICC that player Danushka Gunathilaka has been arrested on the allegations of sexual assault of a woman in Sydney, and Mr. Gunathilaka is due to appear in court tomorrow (7 November ,2022)," it said.

"SLC will closely monitor the proceedings in court and, in consultation with the ICC, will expeditiously initiate a thorough inquiry into the matter and take stern action against the player if found guilty."

Gunathilaka was suspended from international cricket for a year by Sri Lanka after breaking the team's bio-secure bubble during their tour of England amid the COVID-19 pandemic last year.

His ban was lifted early, In January, and he was included in the nation's Asia Cup-winning squad in September.

Sri Lanka fell short of the knockout stages at the tournament following their four-wicket loss to England, with the latter and New Zealand progressing to the semi-finals.

 

Mohammad Nabi resigned as captain of Afghanistan after their T20 World Cup campaign ended without a victory.

Despite a spirited fightback late in their innings, Afghanistan lost to Australia by four runs in Adelaide on Friday, meaning they finished the Super 12 with three defeats and two no-results.

Nabi had been in the role since the start of the 2021 T20 World Cup after taking over from Rashid Khan, who was 48 not out from 23 balls as Afghanistan fell narrowly short against the Australians.

Nabi posted on Twitter after the game: "Our T20 World Cup journey came to an end, with a result that not us nor our supporters were expecting. We are as frustrated as you are with the outcome of matches.

"From the last one year, our team preparation was not to a level that a captain would want it or needed for a big tournament. Moreover, in some of the last tours the team management, selection committee and I were not on the same page, which had implications on the team balance.

"Therefore, with due respect, effectively immediately I announce to step down as a captain and will continue to play for my country when the management and team need me.

"I thank every single one of you from the bottom of my heart who came to the grounds despite matches being affected by the rain and those who supporters us worldwide, your love truly means a lot to us. Long live Afghanistan."

Nabi led his team for 23 completed games overall, with 10 wins and 13 defeats.

Andre Russell has been signed by Big Bash League franchise Melbourne Renegades' as a replacement for Liam Livingstone, who has been called up by England for their upcoming tour of Pakistan.

The 34-year-old Russell, who was not picked by West Indies selectors for the ongoing ICC T20 World Cup, signed a limited contract that makes him available for four games for the Renegades. He had been overlooked in the BBL Draft in August in part due to his limited availability and high price tag.

The Jamaican will now play matches against the Brisbane Heat on December 15 and 21, Sydney Thunder on December 18 and Hobart Hurricanes in Hobart on Christmas Eve.

Glenn Maxwell posted an unbeaten half-century as Australia edged Afghanistan in a four-run victory to boost their T20 World Cup semi-final chances at Adelaide Oval.

The defending champions, skippered by stand-in Matthew Wade in the absence of the injured Aaron Finch, set a total of 168-8 thanks to a fine 54 not out from their middle-order batsman.

With handy support from Mitchell Marsh (45) and Marcus Stoinis (25), the hosts seldom looked as if they would be seriously troubled by their Group 1 rivals.

But Naveen-ul-Haq's tidy figures of 3-21 gave Afghanistan an achievable target to chase, and a strong third-wicket partnership between Gulbadin Naib (39) and Ibrahim Zadran (26) kept them firmly in the hunt.

After Maxwell effected a run-out of the former, a top-order collapse appeared to spell the end for Mohammad Nabi's side, but a thrilling final burst from Rashid Khan (48) guided them close to an upset with a 164-7 finish.

Success vaults Australia into the top two for now, but their progress to the last four will only be confirmed if England fail to overcome Sri Lanka in Sydney on Saturday, due to an inferior net run rate.

Magic Maxwell spares blushes

Make no mistake, this was far from a poor Australia performance, but with a negative net run rate at the end, it was not quite up to the mark they would have hoped to achieve.

No accusations can be levelled at Maxwell, however, whose knock off 32 balls was arguably trumped in importance by his direct hit to dismiss Naib, stopping Afghanistan's momentum and turning the tide.

Khan showcases stirring stuff

Few players are quite as exciting to watch as the Afghanistan man when he is in full flight, and so it proved again after he set up a surprisingly tense finale.

His innings, taken off 23 balls with four maximums, was up there with the best at this tournament. 

Former West Indies captain Darren Sammy believes regional body Cricket West Indies (CWI) and the smaller boards can be stuck between a rock and hard place when it comes to holding on to their top players, as they lack the financial clout to do so.

Since the advent of lucrative global T20 leagues, the team has on many occasions struggled to have its top players available, as they opt to take part in the competitions over scheduled international fixtures.

At the moment, the problem is less of an issue for some of the sport’s bigger for team who hold a much tighter rein on when and where their players play.  India for instance does not allow their player to take part in any other T20 league except the IPL, as Sammy points out, the issue comes down to money.

“India is strong because they can tell their players that you don’t play anywhere else. You have to understand that they have the money to back it up,” Sammy said in an interview with the Press Trust of India (PTI).

“An India A list contracted player could probably make a million dollars a year (match fees plus TV rights money) compared to a Windies A-lister, who would earn USD 150,000,” he added.

Successive West Indies administrations have tackled the issue with various approaches that have yielded little success, the former captain does not see things changing anytime soon.

“Gone are those days when you played for love. Love doesn’t buy you groceries from a supermarket,” he added.

The player believed the region could possibly think of adopting a similar model to the one used by New Zealand.

David Miller expects South Africa to target Pakistan's struggling top order in Thursday's T20 World Cup clash.

The sides face off at the Sydney Cricket Ground in what is a must-win game for Pakistan, who need a victory to keep their hopes of reaching the semi-finals alive.

Meanwhile, unbeaten South Africa head into the match on the back of a five-wicket victory over India.

Victory for the Proteas would see them return to the top of Group 2 and end Pakistan's hopes of qualifying in the process.

Pakistan's struggles have, in large part, been down to their misfiring top-order batters. Captain Babar Azam has accumulated just eight runs across his three innings in the tournament, while Mohammad Rizwan scored four and 14 against India and Zimbabwe respectively, before returning to form with 49 against the Netherlands last time out.

Miller knows Babar and Rizwan – who has scored 2,214 T20I runs since the start of 2021, the most of any batter – are still world class, but believes South Africa's in-form bowling attack are a match for any team.

He told reporters: "This game is all about confidence, and yeah, they haven't probably performed the way they've wanted to, but they're world-class players, and we're expecting them to come out and bring their A-game and be up for the challenge.

"It's by all means not just going in there and expecting to get them out first ball or early up. We've got to work really hard for every wicket, and hopefully we can get them early and the Pakistan middle order under pressure a little bit earlier than later."

South Africa pacemen Wayne Parnell (3-15) and Lungi Ngidi (4-29) limited India to 113-9 on Sunday, though the Proteas still relied on a solid partnership between Miller (59 not out) and Aiden Markram (52) to get over the line in Perth.

Miller is the most capped T20I player in South Africa's squad, and knows his experience is of huge benefit in the biggest moments.

"Experience is a really valuable thing," he said. "In the previous game, we were in a little bit of trouble, there was a lot of pressure to win the game and it's just about slowing the process down and understanding what is required right now. 

"In the past we maybe could have got a little hasty. It's just trying to weather the storm."

Pakistan have lost 11 T20Is in 2022, and one more defeat would see them equal their worst-ever tally in the format in a single year (12 in 2010).

South Africa on the other hand are aiming to bring up a 10th T20I win of the year, though they have lost their last two meetings with Pakistan in the format.

Virat Kohli "feels at home in Adelaide" after stepping up again to help India earn a crucial five-run win over Bangladesh at the T20 World Cup.

A 64 not out from the in-form Kohli in a rain-affected game at the Adelaide Oval pushed India to 184-6 after KL Rahul had got his side off to flier with a half-century off 32 deliveries 

It was a tense finish, with Litton Das' electric 60 off 27 giving Bangladesh a fighting chance, but the elements dented their momentum any they fell short of a revised 151 target.

India consequently went top of Group 2, and Kohli reflected on another job well done in a Player of the Match performance.

"I absolutely love playing in this ground. Right from the nets at the back, as soon as I enter, it makes me feel at home," he said.

"That knock at the MCG was meant to be, but when I come here, it's like I'm meant to come to Adelaide and enjoy my batting.

"As soon as I knew the World Cup was in Australia, I was grinning from ear to ear. I knew good cricketing shots would be the key. I knew the kind of experience and game awareness of having played in Australia will come in handy for the team."

Captain Rohit Sharma failed to deliver for his team, falling early and getting out for just two runs off eight deliveries. 

"I was calm and nervous at the same time," Sharma said. "But it was important to stay calm as a group to execute.

"Shortened games can go either way, but we held our nerves well after the game started; it was a good win in the end."

With three vital knocks in India's four matches so far, Kohli has been invaluable and proved doubters wrong after his form was questioned in the past 12 months after stepping down as captain. 

Sharma said: "In my mind, Kohli was always there. It was just a matter of a few innings here and there, and he hasn't looked back since the Asia Cup. The guy has so much experience.

"The way KL [Rahul] batted as well, it was important for him and the team. We know what sort of player he is at the top of the order.

"Some of the catches we took today were great to watch. When you're playing in front of a big crowd, it's not easy. To take those catches, it shows the character of the guys. I have no doubts over our fielding abilities."

Bangladesh could not get over the line despite giving India a tense end to the game, and their hopes of progressing rest on a final group stage game with Pakistan on Sunday. 

Tigers captain Shakib Al Hasan said: "It's been the story when we play India. We're almost there but don't cross the line. 

"It was a great game, the crowd enjoyed it, both teams enjoyed it; in the end, someone has to win and someone has to lose.

"Litton is batting really well, probably he's our best batsmen going around. We thought we could chase this down after the start. Our plan was to get India's top order quickly, that's why I bowled out Taskin, he's been our main bowler. Unfortunately he couldn't get the wickets today, he was unlucky, but it was a plan get India's top order out and dictate the game."

India will face Zimbabwe in the final Super 12 match of the tournament after Bangladesh play Pakistan in a potentially tournament-defining clash. 

Half-centuries for Virat Kohli and KL Rahul helped India move closer to the T20 World Cup semi-finals with a rain rain-affected five-run win over Bangladesh by DLS in Adelaide.

Kohli and Rahul scored 62 not out and 50 respectively to lead India to 184-6 in their Group 2 encounter.

A 44-ball stint saw Kohli demonstrate finesse and power as he struck eight fours and a six, becoming the highest run-scorer in Men's T20 World Cup history with 1,065.

Bangladesh's reply started superbly, a freewheeling half-century from opener Litton Das (60) seeing them race to 66 without loss before the weather forced both teams from the pitch.

When they returned, the Tigers were set a reduced target of 151 from 16 overs, but quickly lost Das to a run-out and then collapsed in a ruthless 11-ball spell between Arshdeep Singh (2-38) and Hardik Pandya (2-28).

Nurul Hasan's unbeaten 25 off 14 set up a tense finale, but India held their nerve to go top of the group with six points. South Africa can overhaul them, while Bangladesh and Pakistan can still catch them. However, that would require India losing their final match against Zimbabwe. Pakistan need to beat both South Africa and Bangaldesh, whose prospects are slim due to a negative net run rate, to have any chance.

Kohli further enshrines greatness

Kohli surpassed Mahela Jayawardene, whose prior record of 1,016 has stood since 2014, to take his place as the World Cup's all-time leading run scorer. In doing so, the India batsman has further underlined his status as a modern titan of the game.

This was his 13th half-century-plus score at the T20 World Cup too, with Rohit Sharma and Chris Gayle the next nearest to him with nine 50-plus innings each.

Tigers cornered after blistering start

With defeat, Bangladesh's T20 World Cup campaign is almost certainly at a close, and they will be left to rue their poor restart after that rain break.

Das had been in ruthless form, setting the best individual total of the innings, but their subsequent batting failures meant his efforts were in vain.

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.