- Wade does it for Australia by hitting 3 back-to-back sixes
- Pakistan loses for the first time in this world cup
- Final between Australia and New Zealand on Sunday
Mathew Wade did it for Australia by hitting three successive sixes in the penultimate over against Pakistan which was supposed to win the semi-finals but for Wade’s miracle. Marcus Stoinis and Mathew Wade were together in an unbeaten partnership of 81 runs for the fifth wicket to clinch the match for Australia. Pakistani team which did not lose a single match before this match in this world cup was almost on the verge of victory. But Australian middle order had literally snatched the match from Pakistan. Australia will meet New Zealand on Sunday in the final.
Wade finished the game with one over to spare by hitting back-to-back sixes off Shaheen Shah Afridi. Australia had won by five wickets. Australian skipper Aaron Finch started disastrously by losing his wicket without scoring a run in the very first over. The bowler was Shaheen Shah Afridi. But it was spinner Shadab Khan who took four important wickets and took the side very close to the victory post. At one stage Australia looked set to lose the match with a required run rate of one ball two runs. But the successive sixes by Wade changed the complexion of the game completely in favour of Aussies.
Earlier, sent in to bat by Austrial which won the toss, Pakistan had made 176 runs for four wickets in twenty overs. Mohammad Rizwan was the top scorer with 67 runs. Fakhar Zameen made a quick 55 runs without losing his wicket enabling the score go up to a respectable176.
Pakistan skipper Babar Azam on Thursday described Hasan Ali, who dropped the catch offered by Wade, as a ‘fighter’ who will bounce back from dropping a catch at a key moement of the T20 World Cup semi-final. The Australian wicket keeper cum batter himself said it was not a very significant drop since Aussies were already in a strong position by that time. In the near packed stadium filled by thousands of Pakistani supporters, the flurry of sixes by Wade was heart-breaking. Babar reiterated that the defeat cannot be blamed on Hasan’s dropped catch. “He is my main bowler and he has won many matches for Pakistan. Players drop catches but he is a fighter and I will back him,” said Babar. Well said, captain!
Wade was on 21 when Ali dopped the catch. Earlier he bowled for four overs giving away 44 runs without taking a wicket. The Pakistani fans were very angry. The trolled the team members. Wade himself said, “Had the catch been offered three or four overs early and had it been taken the match would have gone in favour of Pakistan. But not at the time when the catch was offered when Australia needed ony 14 runs to win.” It was a disappointing day, Babar Azam said at the end of the match. “We started off with a good total to defend but unfortunately the finish was not good,” he bemoaned. “The way we played the tournament and the way the boys fought, I keep the belief that we will continue with this (form),” said Babar.