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Michael Hussey Blasts Australia Into ICC WT20 Final

Michael Hussey Smashes Australia Into ICC WT20 Final
Michael Hussey Smashes Australia Into ICC WT20 Final
©REUTERS/Philip Brown (ST. LUCIA - Tags: SPORT CRICKET) Picture Supplied by Action Images

Australia 197-7 (M Hussey 60no, Mohammad Aamer 3-35) beat
Pakistan 191-6 (Umar Akmal 56no, Kamran Akmal 50) by three wickets
ICC World Twenty20 semi-final, Saint Lucia

Michael Hussey hammered an unbeaten 60 in 24 balls as Australia recovered from a seemingly impossible position to beat Pakistan by three wickets and book their place in the final of the ICC World Twenty20.

Left-hander Hussey blasted three fours and six sixes as Australia hammered 75 runs in the last 29 balls of the match to win after they had been set a target of 192; the game coming down to the final over, bowled by off-spinner Saeed Ajmal.

Three booming sixes from Hussey, when 18 runs were needed, ensured that Australia sealed the match with a ball to spare having been reduced to 62 for four in the ninth over and then 105 for five in the 13th.

Batting first, Pakistan reached 191 for six thanks to half-centuries from Kamran Akmal, who made 50, and brother Umar, who scored an unbeaten 56.

Akmal thumped six fours and two sixes and put on 82 for the first wicket with Salman Butt (32 in 30 balls) as Pakistan overcame a slow start to get themselves back on track.

Umar then hit two fours and four sixes in a destructive 35-ball innings that steered Pakistan up to the same score that Australia had managed when the two sides met in the initial group stage.

Dirk Nannes, who began the match with a maiden, Mitchell Johnson, Steve Smith and David Hussey picked up a wicket apiece.

In reply, David Warner fell without scoring when he chipped Mohammad Aamer to Umar at point and Shane Watson followed when he was caught by Abdur Rehman off the same bowler for 16.

Brad Haddin (25) and Michael Clarke (17) were then dismissed to leave Australia in trouble but big-hitters David Hussey, who struck 13 in nine balls and Cameron White, who crashed his way to 43 in 31 balls, began the fightback.

White hit five huge sixes before holing out looking for a sixth to leave the elder Hussey a huge challenge but he responded with a 22-ball half-century, only his second in Twenty20 International cricket.

Despite the late dismissal of Smith, stumped as he misread an Ajmal doosra, Hussey held his nerve, backed his game and delivered in stunning style, the final blow sailing high over long-on to complete the most stunning of comeback wins.

© Cricket World 2010

Australia eventually hit 23 runs from the final over; Pakistan had just managed seven in their 20th and Australia will now face England in Sunday's final, and there will therefore also be a new name on the trophy.