Pakistan finally gets first win at T20 World Cup. Australia trounces Namibia by 9 wickets

WESTBURY, N.Y. (AP) — Four. Six. Four. With three big heaves of the bat on consecutive balls, Mitch Marsh finished off a nine-wicket rout of Namibia on Tuesday that secured Australia's place in the playoff stage of cricket's Twenty20 World Cup.

On a day that started with 2022 runner-up Pakistan beating Canada by seven wickets to maintain its slim hopes of progressing and finished with Australia's emphatic win, Sri Lanka's chances faded following a washout against Nepal.

“A professional performance,” Marsh said in an understated assessment after Australia bowled out Namibia for 72 and then reached 74-1 with 14 overs to spare. “Great to qualify for the Super 8s.”

Canada’s inexperienced batters crumbled against pace for yet another low score at the T20 World Cup as Pakistan finally registered its first win after losses to the United States and India.

Pakistan’s four-pronged pace attack contained Canada to 106-7 with only opening batter Aaron Johnson showing aggression in his 44-ball knock of 52.

Mohammad Rizwan’s unbeaten 53 anchored Pakistan, coming off a narrow loss to fierce cricket rival India on the weekend, to 107-3 in 17.1 overs.

“Good for us, we needed this win," Pakistan skipper Babar Azam said. “We started well with the bowling, in the first six overs (and) we know we had to be up to the mark.”

Johnson sent early tremors into the former champions with his back-to-back boundaries off Shaheen Shah Afridi’s first two balls of the match.

But Mohammad Amir, who came out of retirement for the World Cup, responded by taking 2-13 and buckling the batters as wickets continued to fall.

Johnson was dropped on 44, raised his half-century with his fourth six before he too was finally undone by Naseem Shah in the 14th over.

Fast bowler Haris Rauf became the third quickest bowler to complete 100 wickets in T20 internationals when he had Shreyas Movva (2) caught behind and then found the edge of Ravinderpal Singh’s bat in the same over to finish with 2-26.

“We wanted to play a positive brand of cricket and I think the wicket was not very helpful," Canada's Pakistan-born skipper Saad Bin Zafar said. "It was difficult to bat early on and not a good toss to lose.:

Rizwan and Babar (33) shared a 63-run stand before the Pakistan skipper banged his bat on the wicket in anger when he tried to guide a delivery to third man and was caught behind. Rizwan’s run-a-ball half-century saw Pakistan over the line.

Pakistan, the 2022 runner-up, needs to beat Ireland in its last game and also hope co-host U.S. lose both its remaining games to India and Ireland to have a chance of advancing.

The Americans opened the tournament with a win over Canada before edging Pakistan in a Super Over tiebreaker in the upset of the tournament.


Heavy rain in Florida meant former champion Sri Lanka and Nepal had to share the competition points in an outcome that ensured South Africa secured a spot in the playoffs and put the Sri Lankans on the brink of a group-stage exit.

There was no play possible in the Group D match at Lauderhill, leaving Sri Lanka without a win in three games.

Aussie, Aussie, Aussie

At North Sound, Antigua, 2021 champion Australia got on top early with Josh Hazlewood (2-18) striking in the third and fifth overs to have the African lineup in trouble at 15-3.

Wrist spinner Adam Zampa took 4-12 from four overs, troubling the middle and lower order and increasing his career haul to 100 wickets in T20 internationals.

Skipper Gerhard Erasmus accounted for half of Namibia's runs, with his 36 coming off 43 balls.

For Australia, David Warner plundered 20 from eight balls before Travis Head, (34 off 17) and Marsh (18 off nine) steered Australia to victory in 5.4 overs.

“You cannot sit back against the best in the world — that is one thing we learnt tonight,” Erasmus said. “A good side like Australia will expose you if you are not willing to mentally step up on this level.”

Wins over defending champion England, Oman and Namibia were enough for Australia to secure a spot in the Super 8s regardless of the outcome of its last league game against Scotland.


AP cricket: