DUBAI: Matthew Wade’s late blitz ensured Australia sailed through, comfortably at the end, for a T20 World Cup final clash against New Zealand Thursday.
Australia managed to win their semi-final clash against Pakistan on Thursday by five wickets.
Pakistani leg-spinner Shadab Khan did his best, raking in figures of 4/26 against Australia [the best for a T20 World Cup semi-final] but it wasn’t enough.
After the Shadab scare, Australia managed to bounce back as Stoinis and Matthew Wade struck up a solid partnership, hitting Hassan Ali and Shaheen Afridi for a couple of sixes.
Always looking uncomfortable right from the start, the right-handed batsman attempted to hit Shadab out of the park but was caught by Fakhar Zaman.
Earlier, a clinical Shaheen Afridi exerted pressure on the Australians right from the word go when he trapped Aussie skipper Aaron Finch lbw in the very first over Thursday.
Australia, in their quest to qualify for the T20 World Cup final against New Zealand, have been handed a target of 177 runs to win.
When it was Pakistan’s turn to bat, left-handed batsman Fakhar Zaman gave the Men in Green a fighting chance in the second semi-final of the T20 World Cup between the two sides Thursday.
The Pakistani batsman scored 55 runs off 32 balls and a couple of sixes in the final over to ensure Pakistan crossed the 170-run mark to hand Australia a target of 177 runs.
Australia dismissed Asif Ali and Shoaib Malik to keep the Pakistani batsmen at bay and from scoring 200 runs in Thursday’s T20 World Cup semi-final clash.
Pakistan suffered its first setback in the first semi-final clash against Australia after Adam Zampa dismissed Babar Azam, as the Men in Green continue to bat first against Australia.
Earlier, Pakistani openers Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan had formed another 50-run partnership against Australia.
Pakistani openers had found boundaries against Australia’s fast bowlers and all-rounder Maxwell.
Mohammad Rizwan was dropped twice as he attempted to hit the ball out of the park.
Australia decided to bowl first again Pakistan in the T20 World Cup semi-final after skipper Aaron Finch won the toss.
Both teams are unchanged from their last matches.
Pakistan breathed a sigh of relief earlier today as cricketers Mohammad Rizwan and Shoaib Malik were been declared fit to play against Australia.
In an update, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) said that a medical panel reviewed their fitness and okayed their participation in the crucial encounter.
In a virtual press conference two days back, Babar Azam has said he was confident that the Men in Green will maintain the momentum and perform well against Australia in the semi-final.
Some minor flaws have been pointed out in all the matches which sometimes relate to batting and sometimes bowling, Babar said.
He said sometimes fielding lapses were also noted. “It is good that we are trying to fix these issues,” he said.
Australia are five-time winners of the 50-over World Cup but await their first T20 World Cup crown in six attempts.
Pakistan’s Mohammad Rizwan and Shoaib Malik are fit to play after they had fever in the lead up to the match but tested negative for Covid.
Babar said their experience of playing on UAE pitches will be useful.
“We’ll have to put runs on the board and then defend it,” said Babar, who has scored 264 runs including four half-centuries in the tournament.
“It’s an honour to lead this group of players, we are looking forward to playing some good cricket. UAE (United Arab Emirates) is our backyard, we know these conditions well.”
Pakistan, the 2009 T20 World Cup champions, came into the tournament with 10 successive wins in the UAE.
Australia: David Warner, Aaron Finch (capt), Mitchell Marsh, Steve Smith, Glenn Maxwell, Marcus Stoinis, Matthew Wade (wk), Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Adam Zampa, Josh Hazlewood
Pakistan: Babar Azam (capt), Mohammad Rizwan, Fakhar Zaman, Mohammad Hafeez, Shoaib Malik, Asif Ali, Imad Wasim, Shadab Khan, Hasan Ali, Shaheen Afridi, Haris Rauf