Picking up Babar Azam or Rizwan’s wicket would be a massive achievement: Safyaan Sharif

Shafyaan Sharif

Right-arm fast bowler Safyaan Sharif said he’s looking forward to bowling to Mohammad Rizwan and Babar in Scotland’s final Super 12 match against Pakistan on Sunday, November 7 at the Sharjah Cricket Ground. The Pakistan openers – Rizwan and Babar – are the leading run-scorers for their team with 199 and 198 runs respectively in the T20 World Cup 2021.

Sharif, who’s picked up seven wickets from six games in the tournament, said that Pakistan could be put under pressure if Scotland can get rid of Babar and Rizwan early. However, the speedster is also wary of the threat the likes of Mohammad Hafeez, Shoaib Malik and Asif Ali poses.

They’ve been the key to Pakistan’s success, says Safyaan Sharif

It would be good to pick up either Babar Azam or Mohammad Rizwan. If you look through their order they’ve got class throughout – Shoaib Malik and Mohammad Hafeez are experienced players and Asif Ali is doing pretty well at the moment – but they’ve been the key to Pakistan’s success,” Sharif was quoted as saying in ESPNcricinfo.

“To get either of those two out would be a massive achievement: they don’t give their wickets away easily. If we can get the two openers out early, I think Pakistan will be under a bit of pressure because they’ve been scoring most of their runs in the tournament. Let’s see what happens tomorrow,” he added.

Babar and Rizwan are also the leading run-scorers in T20Is in 2021. In fact, Rizwan is only 49 runs short of racking up 1000 T20I runs in the current year. In 18 T20I innings this year, the 29-year-old has scored 951 runs at an average of 95.10 with one century and as many as nine half-centuries.

Babar, on the other hand, is second on the list of leading run-scorers in T20Is in 2021. The Pakistan skipper has scored 721 runs at an average of 42.41 with one century and seven half-centuries.

As far as Scotland are concerned, they have lost all four games in the Super 12 and will be playing for pride against Pakistan. Babar and Co, on the contrary, have already qualified for the semi-final after winning their first four matches in the Super 12.