Pakistan completed their improbable journey into the T20 World Cup by defeating Bangladesh by 5 wickets to join arch-rivals India in qualifying from Group 2 at Adelaide Oval.

The Green shirts used South Africa’s slip-up against the Netherlands to their advantage by chasing down Bangladesh’s 128-run target with five wickets to spare and reaching the final four of the tournament at their opponent’s expense.

Choosing to bat first, Bangladesh managed to reach 127/8 from their 20 overs largely thanks to Najmul Hossain Shanto’s 54 from 48 balls.

Led by Shaheen Afridi’s 4/22 Pakistan managed to hold their batters to a below-par total with Shadab Khan taking 2/30 and Haris Rauf and Iftikhar Ahmed chipping in with one wicket apiece.

In reply, Pakistan relied on their luck to put 57 runs on the board for the opening partnership despite Babar Azam  25 off 33) and Mohammad Rizwan (32 off 32) not looking at their best.

Mohammad Haris, playing just his second game, once again provided the impetus with a quickfire 31 off 18 to ease the pressure before Shan Masood (24 off 14) safely saw Pakistan home after Haris, Mohammad Nawaz and Iftikhar fell cheaply.

Their win over Bangladesh seals another remarkable comeback in Pakistan’s cricketing history after the team was all but out of the tournament with losses to Zimbabwe and India.

But Pakistan changed course with wins over South Africa and the Netherlands before the Dutch answered their prayers with an upset of the Proteas and Pakistan returned the favour by beating Bangladesh to take the Dutch to the next T20 World Cup directly.

In the semifinals, Pakistan is expected to face New Zealand who has been in phenomenal form this year.

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