Mohammad Rizwan didn’t have the best of time leading to Pakistan vs England fifth T20I but the wicketkeeper-batter didn’t let it reflect on his form as the batter scored his fourth half-century in five games in Lahore on Wednesday.
Rizwan faced backlash in his homeland leading to the game as a viral video (watch below) of the cricketer purportedly showing him raising Pakistan’s flag using his feet didn’t sit well with many fans on social media.
As per reports, the incident happened after the fourth T20I when the 30-year-old batter starred with an 88-run innings in a win. Rizwan, in fact, has been the team’s MVP with 252 runs in four games at an average of 84.
In the fifth ODI, and expectedly under pressure, Rizwan shone again for the side with a 46-ball 63, which was also the top score of the innings as Pakistan were all out for 145 in 19 overs at the Gaddafi Stadium. His innings proved crucial as the home team eventually won the game against England, who only managed 140/7 in 20 overs.
With another match-winning knock, Rizwan has been holding the Pakistan innings together as he is also the bi-lateral tournament’s top scorer with 315 runs. His score sequence against England has been 63, 88 (51), 8 (14), and 68 (46) and only reflects further why a Pakistan side can’t be imagined at the upcoming T20 World Cup with rest of the batters blowing hot and cold.
His opening partner and the team’s captain Babar Azam has been the next impactful batter in the team with a century (110*) in the second ODI, which Pakistan won by 10 wickets. The duo has been the most successful opening partners in T20 history by scoring more than 2000 runs together in a stand.
However, Azam, individually, hasn’t been near the purple patch Rizwan is enjoying ahead of the big-ticket event. Apart from his century, Azam has scored 31, 8, and 36, in the remaining games, which is a decent return but is dwarfed by the scoring form of Rizwan.
The remaining Pak batting order has been somewhat non-existential as the third batter on the list is Shan Masood with an aggregate of just 101 runs in five games.