Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan hit top form in a timely fashion to propel Pakistan into the T20 World Cup final as they overcame New Zealand by seven wickets at Sydney.

The opening pair are widely viewed as two of the best white-ball batters in the world and while they have both had quiet tournaments so far, they flourished when it mattered most against the Black Caps.

A bit of luck was involved as Babar was dropped off his first ball before going on to register 53 off 42 deliveries, taking the sting out of a chase of 153 alongside Rizwan in a 105-run first-wicket stand.

Rizwan departed for 57 off 43 balls with 21 still required off the last three overs but there was to be no dramatic twist despite New Zealand’s best efforts as Pakistan got home with five balls to spare.

Shan Masood’s single off the first ball of the final over made sure Pakistan will head to the MCG on Sunday to face either India or England, who play the other semi-final at Adelaide on Thursday.

Just one win separates Pakistan from the most unlikeliest of tournament triumphs. They lost their first two matches of the campaign and only got out of the group after the Netherlands upset South Africa.