Marcus Stoinis and Matthew Wade launched a spectacular attack in the final overs as Australia shocked Pakistan in the second semifinal of the ICC T20 World Cup at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium on Thursday.
Chasing a daunting target of 177, Aaron Finch’s men looked down and out when they slid to 96 for five in the 13th over. Stoinis (40 n.o., 31b, 2×4, 2×6) and Wade (41 n.o., 17b, 2×4, 4×6) scripted a dramatic turnaround, putting on 81 for the unbroken sixth wicket.
With 50 needed off four overs, Stoinis took 13 runs with a six and a four off pacer Haris Rauf. Off the next over, Wade went after Hasan Ali, smashing a six and a four, as 15 came off it. Shaheen Afridi, one of the stars of Pakistan’s campaign in the World Cup, bowled his final over with 22 required off 12 balls.
The left-arm pacer started off with a dot ball before Wade, making full use of the dropped catch by Hasan as deep midwicket off the third delivery, hit three consecutive sixes to seal it for Australia. At the top, David Warner (49, 30b, 3×4, 3×6) had provided the momentum before leg-spinner Shabad Khan seemed to have it turned it Pakistan’s way with a four-wicket haul. Shadab’s spell read: 4-0-26-4.
Earlier, Babar Azam (39, 34b, 5×4) and Mohammad Rizwan (67, 52b, 3×4, 4×6) continued their dream run at the top before Fakhar Zaman (55 n.o., 32b, 3×4, 4×6) employed the long handle as Pakistan made 176 for four after being invited to bat.
It was a near-perfect innings by Pakistan dominated by the in-form top order batters. If Babar called the shots in PowerPlay, Rizwan came to the party in the middle overs after being tied down by the spinners. Fakhar then showed his power-hitting prowess, sending the Australia pacers into the stands at will to ensure that the innings finished with a flourish despite a quiet 18th and 19th overs.
After just 28 runs were scored in five overs, Rizwan broke the shackles in the 12th over with a slog-sweep off Zampa that went for six.
Fakhar, after getting hit on the helmet by Starc, got into the act, striking some meaty blows.
While Rizwan targeted Hazlewood, scoring 27 off 13, Fakhar was severe on left-arm pacer Starc, making 29 off as many balls, including successive sixes over long-on in the final over. However, it wasn’t enough once Stoinis and Wade got into the act