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ICC T20 WC: Stoinis, Wade blast Australia into the final

Australia beat Pakistan by five wickets in the second semi-final of the ICC T20 World Cup at the Dubai International Stadium on Thursday night.

Australia made it to their second T20 World Cup final after they last made it to the final of the 2010 edition against England, only to finish runner-up. Australia will now play New Zealand in the final on Sunday, 14 November.

Pakistan made 176 for four in their 20 overs and in response Australia chased down the target to finish on 177 for five in 19 overs.

Earlier, Pakistan got off to a fine start thanks to captain Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan. Both survived close moments early on. Especially, Azam and Rizwan survived dropped catches to carry on scoring runs at will. Azam finally fell for 39, while Rizwan went on in the company of Fakhar Zaman. Rizwan and Zaman added 72 for the second wicket. During the course of the innings Rizwan passed 1000 T20I runs to become the first batter to do so in the calendar year of 2021. Rizwan finally fell for 67 off 52 balls with three boundaries and four sixes. Towards the end Pakistan lost Asif Ali and Shoaib Malik in quick succession. Zaman carried on unabated as he raced to an unbeaten 55 off 32 balls with three boundaries and four sixes. In the end Pakistan finished on 176 for four in their 20 overs. For Australia the best bowlers were Mitchell Starc (2-38) and Adam Zampa (1-22).

In their chase Australia lost Aaron Finch in the very first over and they appeared to be in trouble. But Mitchell Marsh allied with David Warner to add 51 for the second wicket. The scoring rate picked up but just as it looked like Australia was gaining ground, Marsh fell. Steve Smith fell soon after. Then, Warner tried to take charge but fell in strange circumstances as the ball did not even touch is bat. Strange part was that Warner did not even review the decision. Then Glenn Maxwell fell quickly to reduce Australia to 96 for five. When all seemed lost, suddenly Marcus Stoinis and Matthew Wade allied themselves in a breathtaking stand. They scored 62 from overs number 16 to 19 as Australia overhauled the target in 19 overs to finish on 177 for five. Stoinis finished unbeaten on 40 off 31 balls with two boundaries and two sixes. Wade who hit three sixes in the 19th over to seal the deal finished unbeaten on 41 off just 17 balls. The Stoinis-Wade stand fetched 91 runs for the sixth wicket.

For Pakistan Shadab Khan was the best bowler with figures of four for 24.

Matthew Wade speaks after Australia beat Pakistan by five wickets #T20WorldCup

© ICC / T20 World Cup

Salim Parvez - Matthew Wade halts Pakistan’s surge

The second semi-final between Australia and Pakistan, lit up the Dubai international cricket stadium with a cracking game of cricket. A nerve wrecking finish to the game was enjoyed by a large crowd present as left-handed Matthew Wade with three back-to-back leg-side sixes of Shaheen Afridi, took his team to a five-wicket win. Incredible nerveless batting display by the Australian wicket-keeper got his side over the finish line, with an over to spare.

Pakistan asked to bat first by Aaron Finch did well to reach 176-4 following an opening stand worth 71 in 10 overs. Both Mohammad Rizwan and Babar Azam (39 off 34 balls with 5 fours) were up for the challenge and didn’t look overawed by the match situation. What a year Pakistan wicket-keeper batsman is having and tonight played yet another anchor innings of 67 off 52 balls which featured three fours and four sixes. The fireworks in the latter stages of the innings were provided by an entertaining unbeaten 55 by Fakhar Zaman. The left-handed proved himself once again, a big match player and reached the boundary with three fours and four sixes.

David Warner, with great footwork and quick running, was in his groove early on and was not going to stay quite against slow bowlers. Mohammad Hafeez’s first over went for 13 but Shadab Khan induced two false strokes from Shaun Marsh and Steve Smith to leave Australia on 77-3 in the 8th over. Two smart catches in the deep had hurt them but Australia were ahead of the asking rate, with Warner lashing at all the bowlers. His departure for 49 off 30 balls with 3 fours and 3 sixes was a massive blow to Australia with Shadab picking up his third wicket.

Australian hopes rested on big hitting Glen Maxwell, though he has not been in great touch lately and would parish to a reverse sweep, caught brilliantly by Haris Rauf at deep square leg. Shadab’s four-over spell netted him figures of 4-26 and left Australia on 103-5 and needing another 74 from 42 balls. Pakistan catching and fielding had stood up to the pressure well though 3-4 run out opportunities were missed.

Over number 16 – bowled by Hasan Ali – was worth 12 runs and would leave the target to 50 runs in the last 4 overs.  Stoinis was not giving up and had started to time the ball and find boundaries to become a real threat. His stand with Wade brought the equation down to 22 needed of the 12 balls. Hasan gave away 15 runs in his last over and then would drop Wade in the deep. With half of the side back in the dugout, Stoinis (40 not out off 31 balls, 2 fours, 2 sixes) and Wade (41 not out off 17 balls, 2 fours, 4 sixes) added 81 in just 6.4 overs. Bowling second in these UAE conditions proved quite hard as Pakistan went out of the tournament, with their heads held high.

Babar Azam speaks after Australia beat Pakistan by five wickets #T20WorldCup

© ICC / T20 World Cup

Match Summary

Pakistan: 176-4 (20)
Fall of wickets: 1-71 (Babar Azam-9.6 ov), 2-143 (Mohammad Rizwan-17.2 ov), 3-158 (Asif Ali-18.1 ov), 4-162 (Shoaib Malik-19.2 ov)

Australia: 177-5 (19)
Fall of wickets: 1-1 (Aaron Finch-0.3 ov), 2-52 (Mitchell Marsh-6.2 ov), 3-77 (Steven Smith-8.3 ov), 4-89 (David Warner-10.1 ov), 5-96 (Glenn Maxwell-12.2 ov)

Result: Australia won by five wickets


Playing XIs

Australia: David Warner, Aaron Finch, (captain), Mitchell Marsh, Steve Smith, Glenn Maxwell, Marcus Stoinis, Matthew Wade, (wicket-keeper), Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Adam Zampa, Josh Hazlewood

Pakistan: Babar Azam (captain), Mohammad Rizwan, Fakhar Zaman, Mohammad Hafeez, Shoaib Malik, Asif Ali, Imad Wasim, Shadab Khan, Hasan Ali, Shaheen Afridi, Haris Rauf

Match Details

Toss: Australia, elected to field
Venue: Dubai International Stadium, Dubai
Start time: 1800 hrs UAE time
Match officials: Chris Gaffaney, Richard Kettleborough (On-field Umpires); Joel Wilson (TV Umpire); Richard Illingworth (Reserve Umpire); Jeff Crowe (Match-referee)

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