Matthew wades into Pak
Australians Marcus Stoinis and Matthew Wade did to Pakistan what New Zealanders Jimmy Neesham and Daryl Mitchell had done to England in Abu Dhabi the other night.
From a position where things looked hopeless after the top-order had been cleaned up by leg-spinner Shadab Khan, Stoinis and Wade, waded into the Pakistan bowling to help the team register a come-from-behind five-wicket win with an over to spare to storm into the final of the T20 World Cup. Wade struck Pakistan’s top pace bowler Shaheen Afridi for three superb sixes in the penultimate over to clinch the issue which left the huge the Pakistan crowd stunned at the Dubai stadium.
Marcus Stoinis en route his unbeaten 40 yesterday
Australia will take on New Zealand in the final and as both have never won the T20 title, we will have a new winner come Sunday.
Sad end to Pak’s campaign
It was a sad end to Pakistan’s campaign who had won all their five matches in the league phase and were considered the favourites to lift the title in the UAE, which is said to be their backyard.
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Put in to bat, Pakistan posted 176 for four, which was just about par score considering that the Dubai pitch eases out in the second half and Australia made the most of the conditions. When David Warner walked away after being adjudged caught behind (replays showed enough daylight between his bat and the ball), one thought the match had decisively turned Pakistan’s way but the Australia batsmen especially Stoinis and Wade had other ideas and with a brilliant 81-run unbroken partnership in only 6.4 overs, took the team across the line in an unbelievable effort.
Not for the first time Afridi gave the team the much-needed breakthrough by removing Aussie captain Aaron Finch off the first ball with a peach of a delivery. And just when things seemed to be going the Australian way, Shadab wove his magic to put the rivals on the back foot by bagging four wickets, one each in his four overs.
But that was too good to last as match turned on its head within minutes as the other bowlers just could not tighten the screw.
When Pakistan batted earlier, Mohammad Rizwan top-scored with an impressive 67 and put on two big partnerships, first of 71 for the opening wicket with skipper Babar Azam (39) and 72 for the second with back-to-form Fakhar Zaman (55 not out).
Pakistan 176-4 in 20 overs (M Rizwan 67, F Zaman 55*, B Azam 39; M Starc 2-38) lost to Australia 177-5 in 19 overs (D Warner 49, M Wade 41*, M Stoinis 40*; S Khan 4-26) by 5 wickets
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