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T20 World Cup results: Muhammad Rizwan leads Pakistan to win over Canada

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It has been a poor World Cup campaign for Pakistan.

A shock defeat by co-hosts United States in their opening match in Texas was followed by them squandering a good chance to beat India in New York.

A number of the homespun signs held up by those Pakistan fans inside the ground at Eisenhower Park for this match against Canada lamented such a prevailing sense of disappointment.

Pakistan limited overs coach Gary Kirsten has not minced his words over the past few days, either.

In truth, they were on a hiding to nothing against a side currently 23rd in the International Cricket Council’s men’s T20 world rankings – the lowest of any team in the tournament.

Pakistan were expected to beat Canada at a canter while a second humbling at the hands of an Associate nation would have plunged them further into crisis.

The overriding emotion brought about by this victory is simply one of relief.

This was the second meeting in T20 internationals between these sides. A star-studded Pakistan side emphatically won the first in Ontario in 2008.

Their 2024 counterparts were made to work at times against a well-drilled Canada outfit, some of whom are part-time players working in banks, airports and alike.

Johnson, arguably Canada’s best better, had shown glimmers of his quality in the first two games with scores of 23 and 14, but he was a class above his team-mates with a pugnacious half-century.

Pakistan’s bowling attack had too much for Canada, though, as they finally hit their straps, led by Amir.

The departure of Saim Ayub might have caused a few flutters for Pakistan but as soon as Babar and Rizwan found their rhythm the result effectively became a formality.

A majestic six straight six down the ground from Babar in the ninth over saw the fans break out into ‘dil dil Pakistan’ for the first time.

With wickets in hand as the innings wore on, net run-rate began to creep into the minds of Pakistan’s top order.

Guilty of not seeing the job through against India, Rizwan was calmness personified in getting Pakistan home this time.

Qualification for the Super 8s seems extremely unlikely, but with Pakistan you never know.

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