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T20 World Cup: Pakistan beat Canada to keep tournament hopes alive

Mohammad Rizwan scored a vital half-century in a must-win game for Pakistan; victory on Tuesday means the 2009 winners can still qualify for the latter stages of the tournament; watch the men's T20 World Cup live on Sky Sports this June

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Highlights of Pakistan against Canada from the T20 World Cup

Pakistan kept their hopes of reaching the T20 World Cup Super Eights stage alive with a comfortable seven-wicket victory over Canada.

Mohammad Rizwan scored a timely half-century and Babar Azam played a captain's knock as Pakistan bounced back from successive defeats to beat Canada at the Nassau County International Cricket Stadium in Westbury, New York.

Following their shock opening loss to co-hosts USA, and defeat against rivals India, Pakistan's tournament would have been over if they failed to triumph at the Nassau County International Cricket Stadium in New York on Tuesday. The 2009 T20 World Cup winners now sit third with two points after one win in three matches, with Tuesday's win meaning they still have a shot at finishing in the top two in Group A.

Azam won the toss and put Canada into bat, with opener Aaron Johnson beginning the innings with back-to-back boundaries.

The impressive Johnson (52) waged a lone battle against Pakistan's pace attack. Mohammad Amir (2-13) and Haris Rauf (2-26) led the charge for Pakistan, while Shaheen Afridi (1-21) and Naseem Shah (1-24) helped ensure Canada were unable to find rhythm.

Only three Canadian batters reached double digits and if not for Johnson's maiden World Cup fifty and a late flurry from Kaleem Sana (13 not out), Canada would have struggled to reach the modest total of 106-7 they posted.

Pakistan's Mohammad Rizwan (Associated Press)
Image: Pakistan's Mohammad Rizwan scored a half-century in the win against Canada

The temporary arena in East Meadow, where India and South Africa defended less than run-a-ball targets in recent days, looked on course for another competitive low-scoring match as Saim Ayub (6) fell early and Pakistan looked shaky at 21-1 after five overs.

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Skipper Babar steadied the ship, though, bringing up the 50 partnership with opener Rizwan from 49 balls.

Rizwan (53 not out) and Babar (33) took few risks, the captain playing in measured fashion as he hit one six and one four before he fell to Dillon Heyliger (2-18), but Pakistan comfortably reached their target with 15 balls to spare.

Pakistan now know if Ireland beat hosts United States on Friday then a win for them over the Irish on Sunday would secure progression.

Canada, also on two points, need a win over India on Saturday to stay in the top-two race.

What they said

Pakistan captain Babar Azam...

"Good for us, we [needed] this win. I think all credit to the team because we started well in the bowling.

"To be honest, in this pitch here, five or six overs can be very crucial because the ball is not coming properly and one pace. Sometimes it's low, sometimes it's double pace behaviour, but I think after the sixth over the pitch is a little bit settled and then we attacked.

"We are going to [have] the same mindset to win [the next] match, for sure. We can play our best cricket over there (at Central Broward Regional Park Stadium in Florida), [those] conditions are much better than here.

What's Next?

Two games take place in the early hours of Wednesday June 12, as Sri Lanka also take on Nepal from 12am (midnight) live on Sky Sports Action, followed by Australia vs Namibia live on Sky Sports Main Event and Sky Sports Cricket from 1am.

Then, on Wednesday afternoon, hosts USA face India live on Sky Sports Main Event and Sky Sports Cricket from 3pm.

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