Legendary Pakistan pacer Shuaib Akhtar’s prediction ‘does not match’! Australia beat Pakistan by 5 wickets in the second semi-final of the World Twenty20. Score – Pakistan 176–4 in 20 overs; Australia 177–5 in 19 overs. Australia’s opponents are New Zealand in Sunday’s final.
Akhtar predicted that Pakistan-New Zealand would wait for the final and that New Zealand would face a lot of stress in the final. However, in the Twenty20s, Australia’s final berth was achieved by beautifully implementing the motto of cricket ‘Nothing is impossible’. This is Pakistan’s first defeat in the tournament.
The second half was a repeat of New Zealand’s fighting spirit against England in the first half. Australia, who lost five top-order batsmen while adding 96 runs in 12.2 overs, faced defeat.
However, Marcus Stones (40 not out off 31 balls with 2 fours and 6 sixes) and Matthew Wade (41 off 17 balls with 2 fours and 4 sixes) led Australia to victory. That too in an overback.
Daryl Mitchell bowled Chris Vokes in the last ball of the 19th over to give New Zealand victory in the first semi, while Wade beat Shaheen Afridi in the last ball of the 19th over to give Australia the lead. It was another coincidence that New Zealand and Australia won the match by 5 wickets after facing defeat.
- Stones-Wade alliance breaks down
With 5 wickets in hand, Australia needed 62 runs in the last 5 overs. Marcus Stones and Matthew Wade put on 12 runs in the 16th over and 13 runs in the 17th over as Australia needed 37 off the last 18 balls. Until then, Pakistan had dominated the match. Australia need 22 runs in the last 2 overs to win.
Shaheen Afridi, who conceded just two runs off the first two balls of the 19th over, got off to a good start. But Pakistan had to pay a “heavy price” for Hasan Ali’s easy catch off Wade in the 3rd over. Wade, who doubled in the 3rd over, hit a six off the next three balls in a row to give Australia the victory. Wade is the star of the game.
David Warner (49 off 30 balls with three fours and six sixes), Mitchell Marsh (28 off 22 balls with three fours and a six), Aaron Finch (0 off one) and Steve Smith (6 off 6 balls) 5) including a four, and Glenn Maxwell (7 off 10 balls) disappointed.
In the first over, Shaheen Afridi stunned Australia by bowling captain Aaron Finch in front of the wicket. Shadab Khan took the next 4 wickets. The Aussies were 96–5 when Maxwell returned after Harris Rauf was caught by Shadab for a boundary. The Stones-Wade duo then combined for 81 off 40 balls! Shadab Khan, who took four wickets for just 26 runs, was the top bowler in Pakistan. Shaheen Afridi took one wicket for 35 runs in 4 overs.
- Saman – Rizwan-led Pakistan
Wicketkeeper – batsman Mohammad Rizwan (67 off 52 balls, including 3 fours and 4 sixes) was Pakistan’s top scorer. Fakhar Zaman (55 not out off 32 balls with 3 fours and 4 sixes) and skipper Babur Assam (39 off 34 balls including 5 fours) also shone.
The Assam-Rizwan duo split after adding 79 runs in 10 overs. Assam’s dismissal came after David Warner was caught trying to cross the boundary with Adam Sampa. Rizwan was later dropped by Mitchell Starc. Rizwan was replaced by Asif Ali (0) off the first ball and Shuaib Malik (1) on the second ball of the innings.
Mitchell Starc took 2 wickets for 38 runs in 4 overs for Australia. Adam Sampa conceded 22 runs in 4 overs and Pat Cummins conceded 30 runs each.