Black Caps to face Australia in T20 World Cup final

The Black Caps will play Australia in the T20 World Cup final.

Photo: Photosport Ltd 2020

Australia have produced a brilliant finish with the bat to record a five-wicket win over Pakistan in the second semifinal in Dubai on Friday (NZ time).

Chasing a challenging 177 for victory, the Australians reached their target with one over to spare.

The result meant Monday morning’s title decider will be an all trans-Tasman affair, and a rematch of the 2015 one-day World Cup final won by Australia in Melbourne.

Middle-order batter Marcus Stoinis and wicketkeeper-batsman proved the key figures for Australia, the latter finishing the match off with three consecutive sixes off Pakistan pace bowler Shaheen Shah Afridi.

Wade finished with a superb 41 not out from just 17 balls, while Stonis was unbeaten on 40 from 31.

“It was a great game of cricket,” Australia captain Aaron Finch said.

“The way Matthew Wade held his nerve was outstanding, that partnership with Marcus Stoinis was crucial.”

Earlier, Mohammad Rizwan and Fakhar Zaman smashed breezy half-centuries to help Pakistan post 176-4 at the Dubai International Stadium.

Put in to bat, Pakistan got off to a strong start with Rizwan (67) and skipper Babar Azam (39) forging a 71-run partnership for the opening wicket.

Fakhar provided the late charge for the 2009 champions with an unbeaten 55 off 32 balls.

Afridi’s left-arm swing has troubled the best in the tournament and Finch became his latest victim when Australia began their chase, trapping Finch lbw for a duck to give Pakistan a dream start with the ball.

David Warner (49) and Mitchell Marsh (28) survived Afridi’s searing spell to rebuild the innings before Shadab Khan (4-26) ripped the heart out of Australia’s top order.

The spinner dealt a body blow when he had Warner caught behind even though replays did not show any edge and the Australian batsman did not review the decision.

Steve Smith and Glenn Maxwell failed but Stoinis kept Australia in the hunt with his fluent knock, before Wade provided the brutal finishing touch.

Pakistan had stormed into the last four as the only team with a perfect record in the group stage.

– RNZ, Reuters

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