Pakistan wicket-keeper batter Mohammad Rizwan played a sensational innings of 67 runs in a high-pressure semi-final against Australia in Dubai on Thursday.

Ahead of the semi-final, Rizwan’s availability for the big game against Australia was in doubt due to illness.

Thankfully for Pakistan, he was declared fit and made a massive impact after being put in to bat first by the opponents.


After the innings, Matthew Hayden revealed just how special a performance it was from Rizwan.

“Rizwan, you probably didn’t know was actually in hospital just a night ago suffering with some sort of lung condition. This is a warrior,” Hayden said.

“He has been brilliant through it (the campaign) and he’s got great courage, as has Babar. Fantastic tonight from him.”

Rizwan struggled initially to find his touch, but Babar Azam at the other end kept the scoreboard ticking. Soon, Rizwan got going after smacking Josh Hazlewood for a six in the fourth over.

Once Babar was dismissed, he ensured that he batted as deep into the innings as possible, keeping one end tight till the 18th over. Thanks to some fiery shots by Fakhar Zaman in the end, Pakistan set a target of 177 for Australia to chase down.

Playing in the first ICC semi-final of his career, Rizwan made his night even more memorable. En route his 67, he also became the first player in the history of the game to score 1,000 T20I runs in a calendar year.

He also broke the record England’s Jos Buttler had just set for the most runs by a keeper in a Men’s T20 World Cup. Buttler, who broke Craig Kieswetter’s record from 2010 in this year’s edition, had scored 269 runs to his name before England crashed out last night in the semi-final.

Rizwan now has 281 and is only behind his fellow opener Babar Azam for most runs in this year’s T20 World Cup.

Fellow cricketers and people from the cricket fraternity took to their social media to praise the 29-year-old cricketer.

Meanwhile, Matthew Wade commended his batting partner Marcus Stoinis for the way he took on Haris Rauf in the 17th over and said that was indeed the turning point of the match. The slog overs also saw Hassan Ali dropping Wade off Shaheen Afridi in the 19th over, with the keeper-batter cracking the next three balls for sixes to seal their spot in the final.