Australia beat Pakistan by 5 wickets in second semi-final of ICC T20 World Cup at Dubai International Cricket Stadium.
Full scorecard here
Match summary: Matthew Wade takes Australia over the line in thrilling semi-final
Dubai: Matthew Wade turned an unlikely hero for Australia when he pummeled Shaheen Afridi for three sixes in the 19th over to take them over the line against strong favourites Pakistan for a five-wicket win in the second semi-final of ICC T20 World Cup here.
Wade remained not out on 41 off 17 balls alongwith Marcus Stoinis (40 off 31 balls) to overhaul a challenging target of 177 with an over to spare. Australia have now set up a title-clash against New Zealand on Sunday – a match-up which was unthinkable at the start of the tournament.
It was an unfortunate end to the campaign for Pakistan, who made the semi-finals on the back of an all-win record in the Super-12 stage.
Earlier, they built their innings around the in-form skipper Babar Azam (39) and half-centuries from Mohammed Rizwan (67) and Fakhar Zaman (55 not out).
Australia beat Pakistan by 5 wickets!
Unbelievable, Australia have done it. Wade picks up another six off Afridi - three in this over - to take them over the line by 5 wickets. It will be Australia-New Zealand final!
Another one...this time off a slower. Is Wade doing a Mitchell tonight?
An amazing strike by Wade as he swivels to take Afridi on the full, connects it to send it past fine leg.
18 overs - Aus 155/5 - Target 177. Australia need 22 runs from 12 balls...
Afridi to bowl his final over...
Some more drama as Wade was quick to latch onto a slower one from Hasan Ali. The asking rate, however, has climbed to 12 and Afridi still has an over left.
17 overs - Aus 140/5 - Australia need 37 from 18 balls
It's getting very tense out there now...
Stoinis finds one from Rauf in his arc and sends it soaring over the cow corner. It's followed by a four past the bowler and it's 38 runs from 20 balls now.
Australia need 50 runs from 24 balls
It boils down to 50 runs off the last four overs with Stoinis and Wade still in, but a big over looks extremely unlikely under the circumstances.
14 overs - Aus 109/5 (Need 68 from 36 balls)
Shaheen Afridi is back on and the Australia dressing room looks rather nervous...
Australia need 74 runs off 42 balls
The Aussies will be wondering if they should have opted to bat first instead of following the chasing template.
Fourth wicket for Shadab Khan. Maxwell's reverse sweep lands in the hands of Rauf. Pakistan are already marching into the final, as Australia are 96/5 in 12.2 overs
The match is tilting back towards Pakistan. The delivery from Khan lured Warner to go for an expansive drive and Rizwan did the rest behind the stumps. Stoinis and Maxwell are capable of doing it on this belter of a wicket, but they need to take the match deep and one of them has to do what Daryl Mitchell did last night.
Advantage Pakistan. Warner's wicket, that's what Pakistan wanted. Shadab Khan gets his wicket. His third of the match. The game is now in Pakistan's favour. Now they have to apply the pressure. 89/4 in 10.1 overs.
10 overs - Aus 89/3
The match looks evenly poised with Aussies at 89/3 at halfway mark. It could have been worse had Fakhar Zaman been able to go for a direct hit from cover with Warner running to the danger end.
Smith, 5, not in control of the shot against an accurate Shadab and holes it out to deep mid-wicket. A glory shot which puts the pressure back on Australia again. 77/3 after 8.3 overs.
Warner despatches Hafeez and Pakistan bring on spin from both ends. This could be a defining moment in Australia's chase as Smith and Warner, veterans of many a battle, are together. They will, however, have to keep and eye on the run-rate.
And the wicket came. Leg-spinner Shadab Khan's googly induced Marsh into a sweep that soared high for Asif Ali to take the catch. The partnership is broken. Time to turn up the heat. 52/2 in 6.2 overs.
End of Powerplay
Pakistan need a wicket here to apply pressure. They need to break the partnership between Warner and Marsh.
Marsh uses the pace of Rauf to send him over mid-wicket and then another four. It seems Australia will want to play out Afridi and take their chances against others. A bit of salvage act is on as it's 44/1 after five.
4 overs - Aus 30/1
Warner targets Imad for attack, picks him up for the first SIX of Australian innings and then two more clever boundaries with the field in. Australia 30/1 after four and the hard work remains.
2 overs - Aus 6/1 (Target 177)
A lot depends on Warner if Australia want to make a match of it. Afridi back for his second over and Mitchell Marsh takes him on with a cracking drive through mid off. Quite a contest brewing.
Afridi on fire...
Shaheen Shah Afridi worked up a good pace in the first over. And swing too. One homed in on Finch's foot. And the other nearly got Marsh, who was in all sorts of trouble.
More drama. High drama. An lbw appeal. A run out chance. Mitchell Marsh survives.
Shaheen Shah Afridi strikes. Pakistan are off to a brilliant start. Australian skipper Aaron Finch is trapped lbw. Afridi is so good at this. What a start for Pakistan. 1/1 in 0.3 overs.
Mid-match summary: Australia up against it as Pakistan batsmen make merry
By Gautam Bhattacharyya, Senior Associate Editor
Dubai: A steep target of 177, thanks to another exhibition of some uninhibited strokeplay by the Pakistan batsmen, will be a tall order for Australia in the second semi-final of World T20 here.
The Aussies, who went into the game with four specialist bowlers, could not exercise control at any point – allowing the in-form skipper Babar Azam (39) and Mohammed Rizwan (67) run away to a 71-run partnership for the first wicket in no time.
Fakhar Zaman, coming in at number three, struck two big sixes off Mitchell Starc in the last over of the innings to take them past the 170-mark.
Can the Aussies pull it off tonight? A lot depends on the start Warner and Finch can give…
Australia need 177 to reach World Cup final
Starc, who looked capable of keeping Pakistan down to below 170, gets the stick in the last over from Fakhar on a rampage. The batting conditions look good but there is not much dew in sight so far - it will be a tall order for Australia to get 177. Let's wait and watch!
20 overs - Pak 176/4
Fakhar Zaman is on fire. He hoists Starc over long-on. Huge hit. Another six over midwicket. FIFTY for Fakhar Zaman. 15 runs from the over. Pakistan finish with 176/4 in 20 overs. Fakhar Zaman has struck 55 from 32 balls.
Last over. Starc bowls. Shoaib Malik misses one delivery and is bowled. Just four more balls left in the Pakistan innings. 162/4 in 19.2 overs. Mohammad Hafeez comes in.
Asif Ali is out for a golden duck. Caught in the deep off Cummins. But Shoaib Malik and Mohammad Hafeez can hit a long way. Malik is in. 159/3 in 18.1 overs.
Umpire Chris Gaffaney shows great reflex to dive on the ground and avoid getting hit by a scorcher from Fakhar. He could have been seriously hurt otherwise...well done!
18 overs - Pak 158/2
But it was Fakhar Zaman, who takes over from Rizwan with a six over long-on, into the crowd. And the crowd is ecstatic. Zaman follows it up with a four straight down the field and Pakistan are racing to a huge total. 158/2 in 18 overs.
The atmosphere is electrifying here as each scoring shot of the Pakistan batsmen is bringing the crowd on it's feet. Senior pro Starc finally provides a through as Rizwan departs against the run of play for 67.
He was trying to score as much as possible in the slog overs but was caught at mid-off. 143/2 in 17.2 overs. Solid platform for Pakistan. Big-hitter and six-hitter Asif Ali comes in. Perfect time for him.
Huge over for Pakistan...
Massive six from Fakhar Zaman. Sweetly timed. A sure sign that Zaman is in his element. Smashes Hazlewood over long-off. And Rizwan pulls a no-ball to the fence. Free Hit and that goes for a six! Huge over for Pakistan. Two sixes. 21 runs from the over. 143/1 in 17 overs.
Australia missed a fifth specialist bowler badly in front of in-form Pakistan batsmen and excellent conditions to bat. Mitchell Marsh had gone for 11 in his only over while Maxwell couldn't stop the flow of runs either. A big total on the cards here.
The one that got away...
50 for Rizwan
A fifty for Mohammad Rizwan. His third fifty of the tournament. He has been in fantastic form in the World Cup. This 50 came from 41 balls, and he has stick around to lift the scoring. Shoaib Malik and Asif Ali, two big hitters, are still to come. A big score looms large for Pakistan.
14 overs - Pak 106/1
Fakhar Zaman shows signs of running into form. A whipped shot against Hazlewood brings him a four and it will give him a lot of confidence. Rizwan continues to play big shots and swings Hazlewood into the crowd near the square leg boundary 106/1 in 14 overs.
Rizwan is striking the ball well now. The six off Zampa was superb. 91/1 in 12.4 overs
Zampa had been the best bowler on view, though he has gone for 5.66 runs in his first three overs. Finch falls back on Starc, who was just given one over in powerplay, to rely on his cutters and yorkers. Pakistan are already approaching 100-mark.
Babar Azam is out. Setback for Pakistan, because the skipper has been playing a big role in the unbeaten run of five matches. But there's plenty of batting to come. Maybe, this is Fakhar Zaman's chance to score big. A big score is due from him.
Zampa's patience pays off as he induces a slog sweep from Babar, who is on 39, which is snapped up by Warner at long on. Pakistan 71/1 at halfway mark.
Making some noise!
There's a great atmosphere at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium tonight!
Australia need a breakthrough here against the Babar-Rizwan pair who are unstoppable. They bring on Mitchell Marsh for a change of pace but that is yet to work. Maxwell is back from the other end as the batsmen look to consolidate.
8 overs - Pak 61/0
Babar Azam is batting superbly. A short-arm pull against Mitchell Marsh fetches a boundary and the Pakistan run rate is more than 7. Pakistan are 61/0 in 8 overs.
50 up for Pakistan
This is perhaps one of their best starts in the tournament. 50/0 in 7 overs
6 overs - Pak 47/0
Runs coming at a good pace for Pakistan. Rizwan cashes in on a Cummins full toss, taking a four to square leg. He survives another difficult chance. Good day for Rizwan. Pakistan are 47/0 at the end of the powerplay.
Finch has tried all three mainline fast bowlers in the powerplay, but none has been able to make an impact on the in-form Pakistan openers.
Superb pickup shot. Rizwan produces his first big shot of the night. Swings Hazlewood over square leg. And the crowd is on their feet. 38/0 in 5 overs. One more over left in the powerplay.
4 overs - Pak 29/0
Pakistan fans are loving it as Babar Azam flicks Cummins for a four to backward square leg. 29/0 in 4 overs
Will Aussies miss specialist 5th bowler?
Now, Cummins comes in from pavilion end after a one-over spell from Hazlewood. It's only powerplay but given the way the wicket has been playing so far, it remains to be seen if the Aussies miss a specialist fifth bowler today.
3 overs - Pak 21/0
Rizwan survives a chance after David Warner puts down a difficult catch. But Babar Azam calms the nerves with a sweep to the square leg fence 21/0 in 3 overs
Hazlewood gets a hint of swing in his first over as Starc is yet to hit the right line. Finch introduces spin with Maxwell right in third over.
2 overs - Pak 11/0
Azam unfurls a classy cover drive against Josh Hazlewood, and Pakistan are ticking along very well. 11/0 in 2 overs
Babar Azam continues from where he left off from the previous match. A four off Mitchell Starc to get off the mark. The Pakistan skipper has scored four fifties in five games.
If Pakistan wins against Australia, they will get another chance to regain the T20 World Cup, which they last won in 2009.
Pakistan's key duo
Pakistan are happy that Mohammad Rizwan and Shoaib Rizwan are fit for the match. These two are very key players. And this is a very important match.
Pakistan: Mohammad Rizwan(wk), Babar Azam(c), Fakhar Zaman, Mohammad Hafeez, Shoaib Malik, Asif Ali, Shadab Khan, Imad Wasim, Hassan Ali, Haris Rauf, Shaheen Afridi.
Australia: David Warner, Aaron Finch(c), Mitchell Marsh, Steven Smith, Glenn Maxwell, Marcus Stoinis, Matthew Wade(wk), Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Adam Zampa, Josh Hazlewood.
Australia win toss, elect to field
Australia captain Aaron Finch has won the toss and chosen to field. It looks a dry surface and should be a good one to bat, but Finch is backing his pace attack to put some early pressure. The excitement is slowly building up.
The milling crowd outside, scramble over parking is a giveaway that a big game is coming up. A near-capacity crowd is expected.
Hello and welcome!
Welcome to Dubai International Cricket Stadium. There is a buzz in the air as Pakistan are set to take on Australia in the second semifinal of the ICC T20 World Cup here this evening. The toss is coming up soon...
Pakistan, Australia face off in high voltage semi-final
By Gautam Bhattacharyya, Senior Associate Editor
Dubai: A near-capacity crowd is expected to turn up at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium when hot favourites Pakistan and Australia clash in the second semi-final of ICC T20 World Cup this evening.
Babar Azam’s men, who enjoy a 16-match unbeaten streak across T20s in the UAE, have raised the vision of regaining the title they won in 2009 with five wins in as many matches in the Super-12 stage. Their familiarity with the UAE conditions have also stood them in very good stead in the campaign as the team has not put a foot wrong so far ever since they started off with a 10-wicket against India.
Australia’s journey to the last four, on the other hand, had been a study in contrast. They just managed to sneak past South Africa in the opener and lapsed to a humiliating defeat to traditional rivals England, but managed to turn up with a complete performance in the crunch match against West Indies to pip South Africa on run-rate and make it to last four.
In a tournament where the titles have been shared by as many as five countries (West Indies twice), Australia’s name is conspicuously absent in the roll of honour – despite them being winners of the 50-overs World Cup for a record five times. They will be eyeing the elusive trophy after having come so far, but they need to stave off the powerful Pakistan challenge first.
A thrilling first semi-final on Wednesday night has set the tone for another one as fans can brace for yet another exciting encounter. The Dubai wicket, however, poses a greater challenge for the batsmen while the toss will be again of great significance in the evening game with the dew factor likely to make the job of chasing easy.
Let the action begin…