Rizwan, Malik declared fit for semi-final clash vs Australia after flu scare

Published November 11, 2021
Wicketkeeper-batsman Mohammad Rizwan and all-rounder Shoaib Malik missed practice on Wednesday after experiencing flu-like symptoms. — Twitter/White Star/File
Wicketkeeper-batsman Mohammad Rizwan and all-rounder Shoaib Malik missed practice on Wednesday after experiencing flu-like symptoms. — Twitter/White Star/File

The Pakistan Cricket Board's (PCB) medical panel has declared wicketkeeper-batsman Mohammad Rizwan and veteran all-rounder Shoaib Malik fit for Thursday's semi-final match against Australia, after the two players displayed symptoms of cold and had fever.

Concerns were raised about Rizwan and Malik's participation in the high-stakes clash against Australia after they were absent at the team's practice session in Dubai on Wednesday.

PCB officials told reporters at the time that the duo were down with light fever and flu, but that they had tested negative for the coronavirus and had been advised to rest.

On Thursday morning, the PCB reported that Malik and Rizwan had been feeling a lot better, saying its medical panel would examine the players in the afternoon again.

An update issued later in the day said: "The PCB medical panel has declared Mohammad Rizwan and Shoaib Malik fit to play the match."

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

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.

In the previous match, Rizwan was declared man of the match for his 50-ball 79 not out as he put on 113 with skipper Babar Azam (70) to achieve a clinical win for Pakistan over Namibia.

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