Former England captain Michael Vaughan stated that whichever team will take on Pakistan in the semi-final of the T20 World Cup 2021 will have to face a tough fight as well. As per Vaughan, the England vs Australia match on Saturday could be huge because the winner might avoid a semis clash with Pakistan also.
Notably, Pakistan registered their third win, beating Afghanistan by five wickets in Dubai on Friday as well. Currently, they are on top of the points table in Group 2 with three teams in three games as well.
While speaking about Saturday’s England vs Australia match, Vaughan said during a discussion on Cricbuzz: “Tomorrow’s (Saturday’s) England vs Australia game is a monster. Whoever wins is going to finish top. I am sure Pakistan are going to finish top in their group. I would not want to face Pakistan in the semi-final. I’ll be more than happy to play in the other semi-final and hope someone knocks them (Pakistan) out. We are a long way off from the final but they seem to have everything.”
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“In this Pakistan team, you have that opening combination (Azam and Rizwan), you have got that experience in the middle with Hafeez and Malik. Now, you have got finishers, and with their bowling combination, they look a terrific side,” Michael Vaughan added.
The veteran again said that the way Pakistan won against Afghanistan, shows their capabilities. They required 24 to win off the last two overs. Asif Ali hit Karim Janat for four sixes in the penultimate over and win the game as well.
“To get over the line in the fashion that they ended up doing, it sends quite a strong message. They were pushed into a corner by Afghanistan and they came out with a fantastic victory because of a team contribution. It’s concerning for all other teams in the competition,” he explained.
Afghanistan put up a really good fight – Michael Vaughan
Michael Vaughan, who was impressed with their performance, backed Afghanistan’s decision of holding back Rashid Khan. Notably, Afghanistan was struggling at 76 for 6 but they eventually posted 147 for 6. They then put Pakistan under pressure at 124 for 5 before Asif Ali sealed the deal.
“Afghanistan had the perfect tactic. They wanted to get that rate at something around 8, throw the ball to Rashid Khan and cause a bit of chaos. It nearly came off for Afghanistan. They put up a really good fight,” Michael Vaughan concluded.