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Shaheen Shah Afridi of Pakistan celebrates the wicket of Finn Allen of New Zealand for 4 runs during the ICC Men's T20 World Cup Semi Final match between New Zealand and Pakistan 1920x1080

Rollercoaster ride ends with runners-up regret - Pakistan tournament review

Pakistan made the most of securing an ICC Men's T20 World Cup semi-final spot on a dramatic final day of the Super 12 stage with a commanding victory over New Zealand, but there would be no more miracles in the Final against England.

Most runs – Mohammad Rizwan and Shan Masood (175)

Most wickets – Shaheen Afridi and Shadab Khan (11)

Video T20 World Cup 06 Nov 22
Shaheen Afridi dismantles Bangladesh to win POTM award | Highlights | T20WC 2022
Shaheen Afridi returned a brilliant 4/22 to help Pakistan seal their semifinal spot with a five-wicket victory against Bangladesh.

What went right

Pakistan were only one polished performance away from clinching an incredible ICC Men’s T20 World Cup title after overcoming two final-ball losses to win their next four matches.

That hot streak and surge into the Final was built on a potent pace attack led by Shaheen Afridi who improved as the tournament progressed after recovering from a knee injury.

A fired-up Afridi was a thunderous threat with the new ball, while Mohammad Wasim and Haris Rauf ensured there was little respite for opposition batters and both claimed eight wickets.

Video T20 World Cup 03 Nov 22
Sensational Shadab stuns South Africa | POTM Highlights | T20WC 2022
POTM Highlights: Shadab Khan smashed 22-ball 52 and then followed it up with

Shadab Khan was one the top spinners of the tournament while also contributing 98 runs to finish as the fifth-highest scorer for Pakistan.

Shan Masood was at his best when Pakistan had their backs to the wall, top-scoring in each of their losses to India, Zimbabwe and England, while Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan stepped up in the semi-final with a century partnership.

Video Match Highlights 09 Nov 22
Supreme Pakistan see off New Zealand to seal Final berth | Match Highlights | T20WC 2022
Match Highlights: Pakistan beat New Zealand by seven wickets to seal their place in the ICC Men's T20 World Cup 2022 final.

What went wrong

Pakistan could reliably turn to Afridi when the stakes and pressure were highest, and the 22-year-old delivered with a wicket in the opening over of both the semi-final and Final.

But when the match was on the line against England in the 16th over of the Final, Pakistan’s main weapon was unable to bowl - let alone strike - due to a knee injury he sustained when catching Harry Brook in the outfield.

England needed 41 runs off 29 balls when Afridi walked off the field, and were then able to mostly cruise to the target as Pakistan missed their pace spearhead.

Video T20 World Cup 14 Nov 22
Shan Masood praises loyal Pakistan fans | ICC Men's T20 WC 2022
Shan Masood praises loyal Pakistan fans | ICC Men's T20 WC 2022

The eventual runners-up did little wrong in their opening loss to India as Virat Kohli ran rampant, but would rue a stuttering chase that exposed a sometimes fragile batting line-up as they fell one run short against Zimbabwe.

It took until the semi-final for star openers Babar and Rizwan to truly make their mark on the tournament, though both battled hard in tricky conditions in the Final.

Video T20 World Cup 08 Nov 22
Babar Azam at the nets ahead of Pakistan semi-final | T20WC 2022
Pakistan skipper Babar Azam participated in an optional net session ahead of Pakistan's semi-final against New Zealand in Sydney.

What does the future hold?

With Afridi, Mohammad Wasim and Naseem Shah all under the age of 23, Pakistan have a pace attack to build around.

Mohammad Haris also showed glimpses of his talent after being a surprise addition when Pakistan had no margin for error in their last four matches including the Final.

With youth coming through, and Babar and Rizwan not quite having their usual impact on this tournament, Pakistan should have high hopes that they can go one step further next time.

Video T20 World Cup 14 Nov 22
Matthew Hayden looks ahead to India with Pakistan group | ICC Men's T20 WC 2022
Matthew Hayden looks ahead to India with Pakistan group | ICC Men's T20 WC 2022


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