Prepared for the semi-final.

THE turmoil in Pakistan cricket preceding the Twenty20 World Cup didn't really matter after all. If anything, it merely seems to have galvanised Babar Azam's men who cruised into the last four with a perfect record after a crushing win over Scotland in their final group game on Sunday night. Pakistan's performances have raised expectations; they will start their semi-final against Australia on Thursday as firm favourites for the title in a tournament in which they started out as underdogs. Victories against India and New Zealand in their first two games had given Pakistan confidence as well as momentum. Afghanistan tried to break that momentum but were blown away by Asif Ali, the power-hitter who also showed his prowess as a lethal finisher in the contest against New Zealand. Namibia and Scotland proved no match for the Pakistan side, which unlike its past iterations is showing no signs of letting its guard down.

After New Zealand and England had cancelled their tours to Pakistan for security and mental health reasons, Pakistan Cricket Board chief Ramiz Raja had urged his side to...

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