T20 World Cup 2021: Shoaib Malik says he has "butterflies" in the semifinals against Australia
Veteran Pakistani batsman Shoaib Malik admitted on Sunday that a Twenty20 World Cup semi-final against an impressive Australia will bring him "butterflies". Pakistan finished the Super 12 phase with five wins in as many games with a clinical win in 72 races against qualifying player Scotland in Sharjah. Shoaib failed to crush a quick fire with 18 ball 54 - the tournament's fastest half century - as Pakistan scored 189-2 in 20 overs before holding Scotland back to 117-6.
This gave Pakistan a delicious semi-final against Australia in Dubai - a replay of the last quarter of the 2010 T20 World Cup that the Australians won at the last ball in St. Lucia. "Of course we watch Australia play good cricket and we are, so it's going to be a tough game for both teams," said 39-year-old Shoaib after his man-of-the-match knock with six sixes and a four. It will be a tough challenge for both teams and it will give us butterflies, but that's always encouraging. "
"It's going to be a tough challenge for both teams and it's going to give us butterflies, but that's always encouraging." Malik, who has played in all seven editions of the T20 World Cup, will treat Thursday's semifinals as "just another game".
"We're going to look at the semi-finals as just another game and I think if we can do that we can plan things better," he said. Australia finished second in Group 1, winning four of their five games but losing first place to England on net run rate. After failing to win a Twenty20 World Cup, Australia peaked at the right time when opening player David Warner returned to form and scored 89 goals against the West Indies on Saturday.
"We will recover well, we are the form team so we have to plan well for the semi-finals and this break will certainly help," added Malik. "I enjoy cricket and keep fit, always love to get down on the ground and do my best for my country. Today's innings have been so, very entertaining and have helped the team." Malik, who was not part of the original squad and wasn't picked up until Sohaib Maqsood was out with a back injury, said the omission hurt.
“I was playing in the Caribbean Premier League when the first squad was announced and it hurt when my name wasn't there, but I had a way to get rid of my frustration during the game. "Then I came back to Pakistan and did well in the National Twenty20 and was luckily selected so I'm glad I'm here and enjoying my time."