T20 WC: Rizwan, Malik fit to play semi-final against Australia

Dubai: Pakistan batters Mohammad Rizwan and Shoaib Malik have been declared fit by the medical team to play the semi-final match of the ongoing ICC T20 Men’s World Cup against Australia on Thursday.

According to ESPNcricinfo, both the batters have tested negative for COVID-19 twice in three days. Despite that, medical professionals travelling with the team continued to assess them at regular intervals through Wednesday and Thursday.

Earlier on Wednesday, Rizwan and Malik had missed the team’s practice session due to mild flu. An official described the condition of two batters as “light flu and low fever”. Rizwan and Malik’s training was delayed but the two batters had to miss out on practice.

Both players, especially Rizwan, have been key to Pakistan’s plans and performances in the tournament so far, where they have run up a 5-0 record, having swept the Group 2 matches on their way to the semi-final.

Rizwan, one half of a tremendous opening pairing with captain Babar Azam, has scored 214 runs in five innings so far, his runs coming at an average of 71.33 and a strike rate of 127.38.

Malik, who got into the squad as a late replacement for the injured Sohaib Maqsood, didn’t have too big a role to play with the bat in the first few games, but he starred in Pakistan’s win over Scotland in the last group match with an 18-ball 54*.

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