After storming into the final of the Men's T20 World Cup 2022, Pakistan skipper Babar Azam on Wednesday lauded Shaheen Shah Afridi for setting the tone with the ball in the semifinal against New Zealand, adding that the fast bowler is improving day by day after his injury layoff and using his experience well.

Coming back from injury in the build-up to the T20 World Cup, Shaheen continues to go from strength to strength, and looms as a pivotal figure in Pakistan's trophy hopes. The left-armer was at his brilliant best in spite of a docile Sydney Cricket Ground surface, taking the wicket of Finn Allen up front in the first over, before returning to outfox Kane Williamson with a cunning slower ball.

The 22-year-old finished with 2/24 from his allotment, moving to ten wickets for the tournament, joining Shadab Khan as the most prolific in Pakistan's campaign in Australia.

"He (Shaheen) set the tone. After the injury, day by day he's improving because you see him playing for the team and performing after the injury," said Babar at the post-match press conference.

"He had a little bit of time (to recover). He has really been using our experience and now everyone knows he's the best bowler in Pakistan and in the world, so we know he's bowling and he's doing fine out there," he added.

Pakistan were better in all three facets against the Kiwis, punching their ticket to Melbourne on Sunday, the first T20 World Cup final appearance since they won the tournament in 2009.

A journey with the up-and-down parallels of the Cricket World Cup campaign their forefathers had in 1992, Babar does not play down the significance of their 50/50 shot of a tournament win.

"It means a lot. To be honest, we didn't start well, but after the South Africa match we had hope, and after that we grabbed the opportunity, then we are playing our best cricket. We will play well in the final," the Pakistan skipper said.

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