T20 World Cup: Rizwan dominates as Pakistan ease to first victory in Australia

Photo by Paul Kane/Getty Images

Mohammad Rizwan crafted a fluent 49 as Pakistan eased to their first victory and kept their hopes alive at the T20 World Cup after a six-wicket triumph over the Netherlands.

Babar Azam's side suffered final-over heartbreak against both India and Zimbabwe in Australia, though had little trouble at Optus Stadium after restricting the Netherlands to just 91-9 on Sunday.

Shadab Khan tore through the Dutch batting line-up, with the leg-spinner taking 3-22. Colin Ackermann's 27 from as many balls represented the only Netherlands batter to pass 20 runs.

Despite Babar being run out by Roelof van der Merwe for just four, Rizwan and Fakhar Zaman steadied the ship before the latter fell to Brandon Glover for 20, leaving Pakistan 53-2 from 7.1 overs.

Rizwan survived a review on 39, a decision overturned after Logan van Beek failed to get his hands under a chance from Fred Klaassen's bowling, though the wicket-keeper batter was dismissed soon after.

Paul van Meekeren (1-19) had Rizwan caught behind in the 13th over and Shan Masood (12) followed to Glover (2-22), though Iftikhar Ahmed (six not out) and Shadab (four not out) saw Pakistan over the line with 37 balls to spare.

Spin torments Netherlands

Shadab and Mohammad Wasim (2-15) did the damage as the Netherlands failed to deal with Pakistan's spin bowling.

Mohammad Nawaz went wicketless from his two overs but also conceded just 11 runs as Pakistan limited the Netherlands to a score that ensured no final-over chaos was in store for Babar's side.

Pakistan reliant on other results

Pakistan will have been delighted to see Fakhar, returning from a seven-week absence after a knee injury, bat fluently in the middle order as they picked up victory in a must-win game.

Yet even if Babar's side defeat South Africa and Bangladesh in their remaining Group 2 games, they will need other results to go their way to make the top two, starting with India beating the Proteas later on Sunday.