Shoaib Malik has ‘butterflies’ over facing Australia in semi-final

Published November 9, 2021
Shoaib Malik walks off the field after scoring a quickfire 18-ball 54 against Scotland in the World T20 match on Sunday. — Picture courtesy: ICC
Shoaib Malik walks off the field after scoring a quickfire 18-ball 54 against Scotland in the World T20 match on Sunday. — Picture courtesy: ICC

SHARJAH: Veteran Pakistan batsman Shoaib Malik on Sunday admitted a Twenty20 World Cup semi-final against a formidable Australia will give him “butterflies”.

Pakistan completed the Super 12 stage with five wins in as many games with a clinical 72-run win over qualifiers Scotland in Sharjah.

Malik smashed a quickfire 18-ball 54 not out — the fastest half century of the tournament — as Pakistan scored 189-2 in 20 overs before keeping Scotland down to 117-6.

This gave Pakistan a mouth-watering semi-final against Australia in Dubai — a repeat of the 2010 T20 World Cup last-four which the Australians won on the last ball in St Lucia.

Read more: Australia script unbelievable win over Pakistan in World T20 semi-final

“Of course, we are watching Australia play good cricket and so are we, so it will be a tough match for both teams,” said 39-year-old Malik after his man-of-the-match knock which contained six sixes and a four.

“It will be a tough challenge for both teams and will give us butterflies but that is always encouraging.”

Malik, who has played in all seven editions of the T20 World Cup, will treat Thursday’s semi-final as “just another game”.

“We will take the semi-final as just another game and I think if we do that then we will be able to plan things in a better way,” he said.

Australia finished runners-up in Group 1, winning four of their five matches, but losing out on top spot to England on net run-rate.

Having not won a Twenty20 World Cup yet, Australia are peaking at the right time with opener David Warner returning to form, scoring 89 not out against the West Indies on Saturday.

“We will have a good rest, we are the form team so we need to plan well for the semi-final and this rest will surely help in doing that,” added Malik.

“I am enjoying cricket and keeping fit, always love to come to the ground and do my best for my country and today’s innings was like that, highly enjoyable and it helped the team.”

Malik, who was not part of the initial squad and was only included when Sohaib Maqsood was ruled out with a back injury, said the omission had hurt.

“I was playing the Caribbean Premier League when the initial squad was announced and when my name was not there, it hurt but I had a way to get my frustration out as I was playing.

“Then I came back to Pakistan and did well in the National Twenty20 and luckily got selected, so I am happy that I am here and enjoying my time.”

Published in Dawn, November 9th, 2021

Opinion

Editorial

Failure of accountability
Updated 26 Jan, 2022

Failure of accountability

THE resignation of PTI government’s accountability czar Barrister Shahzad Akbar is a blow to the party’s central...
26 Jan, 2022

New freight service

THE launch of a new railway freight service connecting the Karachi port with the industrial and commercial centres ...
26 Jan, 2022

Flying curbs

THE unexpected decision of the European Union Aviation Safety Agency to continue its ban on PIA operations to EU...
Under pressure
Updated 25 Jan, 2022

Under pressure

It is fairly obvious that PM is cognisant of the trouble that his government is in from a political and economic perspective.
25 Jan, 2022

Ukraine tensions

TENSIONS between Nato and Russia over Ukraine have reached a critical pass, and there are genuine fears of a fresh...
25 Jan, 2022

Defeating polio

WITH Pakistan in the decisive stage of the battle against polio, every vaccination campaign is of significance as it...