ICC Men's T20 WC 2021 - SF 2 - Stoinis, Wade catapult Australia to final, beat Pakistan by 5 wickets
Updated: Nov 12, 2021
Stoinis, Wade, Warner take Australia to their second T20 World Cup final, Heartbreak for Pakistan
Australia 177 for 5 in 19 overs (Warner 49, Wade 41*; Shadab Khan 4/26) defeat Pakistan 176 for 4 in 20 overs (Rizwan 67, Zaman 55*; Starc 2/38) by 5 wickets
Pakistan entered the game shouldering the responsibility of favouritism, while Australia, which blew hot and cold this tournament, aimed to prove why they should be the ones holding the silverware in the end, while ending Pakistan's winning streak.
With luck in their favour, Australia skipper Aaron Finch won the toss for the fifth time in six matches and opted to take the field in the second semi-final clash of the tournament.
Pakistan off to a roaring start
Pakistan’s innings got off the mark with an elegant boundary from skipper Babar Azam’s bat in the first over. Their innings cruised at 6 runs per over as both the in-form openers Mohammad Rizwan and Babar Azam went on an attacking spree against the Australian bowlers. The final over of the powerplay yielded 10 runs and Pakistan’s scorecard read 47/0 after 6 overs, their highest powerplay score in the tournament so far.
The duo carried out a carnage and took the team total above the 50-run mark and added 71 runs for the first wicket before Adam Zampa struck for Australia in the 10th over. Zampa dismissed the menacing Babar Azam who fended his wicket to David Warner at long on for 39 runs.
Pakistan were 71/1 after 10 overs with new batter Fakhar Zaman at the crease.
However, the skipper’s wicket did not faze Rizwan as he went full swing at the Australian bowlers. He attacked Zampa with a boundary and a six in the 12th over, followed by charging down against Josh Hazlewood for as many runs en route to his third fifty of the T20 WC 2021. Pakistan’s total also crossed 100-run mark in 14 overs and with still 9 wickets in hand they looked good to post a competitive total.
Mohammad Rizwan and Fakhar Zaman combined to produce 73 runs for the 4rd wicket with an elegant knock from the latter who remained unbeaten on 55*. The duo sailed the innings at 10 runs per over and further aided the team total to cross above 150 runs.
Pakistan batters fall short of posting huge total
Mitchell Starc, with a new plan of action after getting attacked in the powerplay, returned and dismissed Rizwan on 67 runs and halted Pakistan’s run-flow in the 18th over. New batter Asif Ali, the star in two of Pakistan’s clashes, came to the middle for the finishing rituals. Unfortunately, he failed to replicate the similar cameo and got bowled for a duck by Pat Cummins.
Starc chipped in with his second wicket of the game while the momentum started to shift towards Australia. He clean-bowled Shoaib Malik for a duck and restricted Pakistan to 176/4 in 20 overs.
Shaheen Afridi gives Australia early jolt
With a challenging and a fitting semi-final total set to chase, Australian started on an explosive note, but that form only picked up momentum after they received their first jolt within the first over into the innings.
Shaheen Shah Afridi, who has proven to be a nightmare for the openers in this world cup, struck the team from down under with his attacking line. He bowled out skipper Aaron Finch for a duck. However, Australia let the loss have little damage to their pursuit.
Mitchell Marsh was the second to fall but before getting dismissed in the seventh over, he ensured the team had recorded 52/1 at the end of the powerplay.
Shadab Khan brings back Pakistan into the game
However, momentum shifted in Pakistan’s favor when Shadab Khan dismissed Marsh (28) and Steven Smith, who could just manage to contribute a single digit score (5) to their quest.
On the other hand, opener David Warner kept it together for the team as he hammered 49 off 30 balls, missing out on his 21st half-century in the format by a whisker. Nonetheless, it was a most crucial knock that built a robust foundation for the team’s chase.
Australia’s score board read 115/5 after 15 overs with more 62 runs required off the last five overs and five wickets in hand. They looked far more in control than England did in Abu Dhabi.
Matthew Wade’s retribution crushes Pakistan
New batters, Marcus Stoinis and Matthew Wade, soaked the pressure from there on and banked on the mistakes committed by the Pakistan bowlers and fielders. Stoinis started the onslaught as he hit Haris Rauf for 15 runs in the 17th over, followed by Wade opening hands too and aggregated as many runs in the 18th over.
The match was destined to be a close affair with both batters taking down the bowlers for boundaries and sixes in their quest for victory.
The 19th over of Shaheen Afridi shifted the momentum in Australia’s favor as the duo punished him with 22 runs in that over which eventually clinched the game for Australia. The over had enough drama to witness when Hasan Ali dropped Wade who later nailed the last nail in Pakistan’s coffin. Matthew Wade's remained unbeaten on 41 off 17 balls, and Marcus Stoinis on 40 off 31 deliveries. The Wade-Stoinis duo stitched a match-winning 71-run partnership and sealed the victory with an over to spare.
Australia advanced into the finals of the ICC T20 World Cup 2021 with a 5-wicket win over Pakistan in the second semi-final game.
Player of the match
Matthew Wade, undisputably, became the player of the match for his heroic match-winning knock of an unbeaten 41* runs off 17 balls. He will be remembered by the followers of the game for cashing in on Pakistan’s mistakes in the final stages of a crunch game and demolishing arguably the best bowler in the tournament, Shaheen Afridi with improvised strokeplay.
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