T20 World Cup 2021: Pakistan lose finals 'mauka' after Australia 'Wade' through semis with 5 wicket-win
Australia has defeated Pakistan in style by five wickets, reaching the final of the ICC T20 World Cup 2021. It would be Australia's second-ever appearance in the tournament's final to date.
Australia came up with a composed yet innovative performance to trounce Pakistan by five wickets in the semis of the 2021 ICC T20 World Cup at the Dubai International Stadium on Sunday. Matthew Wade was the ultimate hero, finishing things in style, while the Aussies have reached their second-ever final of the competition.
Winning the toss, Aussie skipper Aaron Finch opted to bowl, as both the sides moved in with the same XI. The Pakistani openers Mohammad Rizwan (67) and Babar Azam (39) put on 71 runs for the first wicket before spinner Adam Zampa gave the first breakthrough in the tenth over, getting rid of the latter.
However, Rizwan and Fakhar Zaman (55*) contributed to another impressive 72-run partnership for the second wicket, piling pressure on the Aussie bowlers. In the 18th over, Rizwan fell to seamer Mitchell Starc after scoring his 11th T20I half-century. In the following over, at 158, Pakistan lost Asif Ali (1) to pacer Pat Cummins, followed by Shoaib Malik (1) in the final over, four runs later, as Starc cleaned him up.
Nonetheless, Pakistan managed to put on a respectable total of 176/4. The Australians used six bowlers, with Starc claiming a couple while Zampa was impressive with his economy. In reply, Australia lost Finch (0) early in the opening over of the Powerplay, as pacer Shaheen Afridi trapped him leg-before, with just a run on the board.
However, fellow opener David Warner (49) and Mitchell Marsh (28) added 51 for the second wicket before the latter was sent back by leg-spinner Shadab Khan in the seventh. Steven Smith (5) could not do much, as at 77, he was dismissed by the same man in the ninth, followed by Warner, 12 runs later, to Shadab again after a couple of overs.
At this time, Australia started to feel the heat, while Shadab was in a deadly mood, as in the 13th, he scalped the prized wicket of Glenn Maxwell (7), at 96. However, Marcus Stoinis (40*) and Wade (41*) pulled it off in style, contributing 81 for the sixth wicket. The latter smashed three successive sixes in the final three balls off Shaheen in the 19th to seal a memorable five-wicket win and seal its place in its second-ever tournament final.
Notably, Hasan Ali had dropped Wade just a ball before he launched his brutal attack against Shaheen. The Pakistanis put six bowlers into the attack, with Shadab claiming four, while he was also the most economical one from his side.
Brief scores: Pakistan 76/4 (Rizwan- 67, Azam- 39, Zaman- 55; Starc- 2/38) lost to Australia 177/5 (Warner- 49, Stoinis- 40*, Wade- 41*; Shadab- 4/26) by five wickets.