It's deja vu! On Wednesday, New Zealand produced a sensational chase to beat favourites England by five wickets with one over to spare in Abu Dhabi. 24 hours later, not so far from Abu Dhabi, Australia completed a similar chase against another favourites, Pakistan in Dubai as the United Arab Emirates continues to play host to some sensational cricket in these pandemic times.
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There will be ðÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂ #T20WorldCup pic.twitter.com/xKWM11L5OA— T20 World Cup (@T20WorldCup) November 11, 2021
And on Sunday, Dubai will host the first-ever Trans-Tasman T20 World Cup final. Expect a cracker. Australia, still chasing their first T20 world title, won the toss and opted to bowl first against Pakistan in the second semi-final of the ICC Men's T20 World Cup 2021 at Dubai International Cricket Stadium on Thursday.
Pakistan, buoyed by their unblemished Super 12 campaign, started on a rousing note with Mohammad Rizwan (67 off 52) and skipper Babar Azam (39 off 34) adding 71 runs for the first wicket; then Fakhar Zaman gave the finishing touches with an unbeaten knock of 54 off 31. Australia needed 177 runs and the chase was stop-start, at best, even as David Warner played a fine knock at the top of the innings. And keeping the Aussies quiet in the middle overs was Shadab Khan, who took four wickets for 26 runs.
But everything changed in the penultimate over with Shaheen Afridi conceding 22 runs. Matthew Wade (41 off 17) gave the finishing touches by hitting three sixes off the last three balls after getting a life off the third ball. However, it was his unbeaten 81-run stand in 41 balls with Marcus Stoinis (40 not out off 31) that set the stage for an improbable win after that imperious Shadab spell. A Daryl Mitchell moment for the veteran Aussie cricketer, for sure! Catch highlights and scores of the PAK vs AUS cricket match here:
11:34 PM IST: Captains Speak
Babar Azam, the losing skipper, says mistakes cost Pakistan the match but assures that he's "satisfied as a captain." Aaron Finch, the winning captain, hails both Matthew Wade and Marcus Stoinis: "The way Wade held his nerve at the end was amazing. That partnership with Stoinis was crucial."
11:25 PM IST: Wade Reaction
Matthew Wade is the player of the match for his 41 off 17. And he's still trying to find the word: "It hasn't sunk in but probably when I sit down tonight it might sink in. I was out of the two team for 2-3 years, just came back 20 games ago and happy to have repaid the faith".
11:11 PM IST: Result
Shaheen Afridi with the penultimate over. A dot then an LBW shout against Marcus Stoinis. But it's pitched outside leg. A wide, then a couple as Matthew Wade gets a life. Dropped by Hasan Ali at deep square leg. Wade hits the next ball for a six, over fine leg. Scooping sensation. And another one, this time over deep square leg. 6 from 7. And another scoop, for a six, and Australia are in the final. 22 from the last over, including three sixes off the last three balls. They meet New Zealand. Australia win by five wickets with an over to spare. AUS - 177/5 (19); PAK - 176/4 (20)
11:01 PM IST: 22 In 12
Hasan Ali with his final over. A single, then a couple to mid-wicket. Matthew Wade launches the third for a six, over long-on. With that, a fifty-run stand in 32 balls with Marcus Stoinis. Two singles more. A four to square leg boundary. 15 from the over. Hasan Ali's figures: 0/44. Australia need 22 runs in 12 balls. AUS - 155/5 (18)
10:56 PM IST: 37 In 18
Haris Rauf with his third over. A dot, then Shoaib Malik saves two runs at deep mid-wicket. Marcus Stoinis times that beautifully, but settles with a couple. Nex ball, a six over deep mid-wicket. Stunning hit. And an attempted yorker goes wrong. Four, straight. A dot. A single to end the over. 13 from the over. Earlier, Hasan Ali (0/29 in 3) left the field just after finishing his third over. Australia need 37 runs in 18 balls. AUS - 140/5 (17)
10:50 PM IST: 50 In 24
Hasan Ali with his third over. Marcus Stoinis hits the first ball for a four, long-off. No ball and a couple. Stoinis fails to dismiss the free hit, only a couple to deep midwicket. 12 from the over. Australia need 50 runs in 24 balls. AUS - 127/5 (16)
10:45 PM IST: 62 In 30
Shaheen Afridi returns for his third over. One single, another quick one. Also, a run out chance. Matthew Wade survives. Pakistan have taken some good catches, but not so good with direct hits. A thick edge off the fifth and a couple for Marcus Stoinis to point. A single to the over. Six from the over. Australia need 62 runs in 30 balls. AUS - 115/5 (15)
10:39 PM IST: 68 In 36
Haris Rauf with his second over. Matthew Wade hits the fourth ball for a four, to long-on. Six from the over. Australia need 68 runs in 36 balls. AUS - 109/5 (14)
10:34 PM IST: 4/26 For Shadab
Marcus Stoinis hits the third ball for a six, over cow corner. Eight from the over. Shadab Khan's figures: 4/26. Australia need 74 runs in 42 balls. AUS - 103/5 (13)
10:31 PM IST: Four-for Shadab
Shadab Khan on with his final over. A single, then he gets another biggie. Glenn Maxwell goes for the reverse sweep and Haris Rauf takes a stunner at deep third man. Big Show goes for 7 off 10. Australia need 81 runs in 46 balls.Matthew Wade is the new man. AUS - 96/5 (12.2)
10:29 PM IST: Tidy Over
Imad Wasim with his third over. Three from the over, including a couple off the last ball. Six in the last two. Australia need 82 runs in 48 balls. AUS - 95/4 (12)
10:25 PM IST: Warner Walks
Shadab Khan continues. And massive wicket. A faint edge and is caught behind? David Warner goes for 49 off 30. Warner walks but there's clear daylight between bat and ball. Massive moment. Marcus Stoinis is the new man. Three from the over. AUS - 92/4 (11)
10:16 PM IST: Drinks
Hasan Ali returns for his second over. David Warner hits the first ball for a four, behind square. Warner survives a run out chance. He gives up and Fakhar Zaman fails to hit the target at the striker's end. Warner is unbeaten on 49 off 29. Nine from the over. Australia need 88 runs in 60 balls. AUS - 89/3 (10)
10:12 PM IST: Second For Shadab
Shadab Khan continues. David Warner hits the first ball for a si, over long-on. A single, then Steve Smith gets a top edge. Fakhar Zaman takes the catch at deep mid-wicket. Smith goes for 5 off 6. Glenn Maxwell is the new batter. 10 from the over. AUS - 80/3 (9)
10:07 PM IST: Big Over
Another bowling change. Mohammad Hafeez on. A no-ball to start and is dismissed for a six by David Warner, over deep midwicket boundary. Some scenes as the ball bounced twice. 13 from the over. AUS - 70/2 (8)
10: 01 PM IST: Two Down
Another bowling change. Shadab Khan on, and the leg spinner gets the wicket of Mitchell Marsh (28 off 22). A skier and Asif Ali takes a cool catch at deep square. And the 51-run stand is broken. Steven Smith joins David Warner. Thick edge and Smith gets a streaky four off the fifth. Five runs and a wicket. AUS - 57/2 (7)
9:56 PM IST: Powerplay Over
Double bowling change. Another pacer on as Hasan Ali replaces Imad Wasim. David Warner takes a single off the first. Mitchell Marsh picks the short ball and plays it to short fine leg for a four. A single off the third to third man. And fifty in 32 balls for the stand. Eight from the over. AUS - 52/1 (6)
9:51 PM IST: Six For Welcome
Bowling change. Haris Rauf on and he gets a six for welcome. Mitchell Marsh pulls it over square leg boundary. And a fine touch to guide the second ball through the cordon. 10 from 2 balls. 14 from the over. AUS - 44/1 (5)
9:46 PM IST: Warner Shows Intent
Imad Wasim continues. Mitchell Marsh takes a single off the first. David Warner hits the second for a massive six, over deep midwicket. And a four, this time a powerful cover drive. Another four, this time over fine leg fielder. Two singles to end the over. 17 from the over. AUS - 30/1 (4)
9:42 PM IST: Marsh Four
Shaheen Afridi continues. A dot to David Warner, and a single to mid-on. Also a front-foot no-ball. Mitchell Marsh fails to connect the free hit. A dot. But a four, through covers. Seven from the over. AUS - 13/1 (3)
9:36 PM IST: Spin On
Imad Wasim with the second over. After Shaheen Afridi's ferocious pace, it's spin. Three singles, then Mitchell Marsh takes a couple off the last ball. Five from the over. AUS - 6/1 (2)
9:31 PM IST: Chase Begins
Shaheen Afridi with the new ball. A dot, then a single as David Warner plays it to mid on. Then LBW. Aaron Finch (0 off 1), trapped in front. Deadly swing. Mitchell Marsh is the new man. Another massive shout for LBW. Pakistan take the review. It's a toe-breaker. Umpires call. Not out. And beaten again. A single and a wicket from the over. Target - 177. AUS 1/1 (1)
9:14 PM IST: Innings Break
Mitchell Starc with the final over. A single, then Shoaib Malik (1 off 2) is bowled. Mohammad Hafeez is the new man and four balls remaining. Zaman then hits back-to-back sixes to reach his fifty. A single to end the innings. 15 from the over. Starc's figures: 2/38. 59 runs and three wickets in the last 30 balls. PAK - 176/4 (20)
9:07 PM IST: 1/30 For Cummins
Pat Cummins with the penultimate over. Asif Ali holes out long-on for first-ball duck. Another catch for Steve Smith. Shoaib Malik is the new man. Fakhar Zaman hits the second ball to long off and Smith drops him, and a single. Another single to rotate the strike. And two dots to Zaman. A single to end the over. Brilliant over. Cummins' figures: 1/30. 55 runs and a couple of wickets in the last five overs. PAK - 161/3 (19)
9:00 PM IST: Rizwan Goes For 67
Mitchell Starc returns for his third over. Massive respite for Australia. A dot, then Mohammad Rizwan (67 off 52) holes out. Steve Smith takes an easy catch at mid-off. And a 72-run stand in 46 balls comes to an end. Asif Ali is the new man. Fakhar Zaman hits the next ball for a six, over long on. A couple, then a four. Straight. Down the leg and wide. A couple to long on to end the over. 15 from it. PAK - 158/2 (18)
8:54 PM IST: 0/49 For Hazlewood
Josh Hazlewood with his final over. Fakhar Zaman hits the second ball for a six. Full toss and dismissed, over long-off. Mohammad Rizwan hits the fifth ball, a high no ball, for a four, to deep mid-wicket. A six, over mid-wicket. 21 runs from the over. Hazlewood's figures tonight: 0/49. PAK - 143/1 (17)
8:48 PM IST: 1/22 For Zampa
Adam Zampa with his final over. Five singles. His figures: 1/22. 51-run stand in 37 balls for Mohammad Rizwan (56 off 47) and Fakhar Zaman (17 off 16). PAK - 122/1 (16)
8:44 PM IST: 46 In Last 30
Pat Cummins returns for his third over. Fakhar Zaman hits the second ball, also a no-ball, for a four. 11 from the over. 46 runs in the last 30 balls. PAK - 117/1 (15)
8:37 PM IST: Fifty For Rizwan
Josh Hazlewood with his third over. A single to Mohammad Rizwan. Then a wide, and a four to deep mid-wicket as Fakhar Zaman swats the ball after clearing his front foot. A dot, then a single. Rizwan connects the fifth and it sails over square leg boundary for a six. On 49 in 40. A widish delivery and he reaches it to it for a single to cover. 3rd fifty in the tournament. 14 from the over. PAK - 106/1 (14)
8:31 PM IST: Nasty Bouncer
Mitchell Starc returns for his second over. Mohammad Rizwan takes a single off the first. A dot, then a single. A dot. A bouncer hits Rizwan on the grill. Physios in the middle for mandatory concussion check...
Rizwan continues. Three singles from the over. PAK - 92/1 (13)
8:24 PM IST: Big Over
Adam Zampa with his third over. Mohammad Rizwan hits the third ball for a six, over deep mid-wicket. And four byes, to third man. Turn beating both the batter and wicket-keeper. 14 from the over. PAK - 89/1 (12)
8:20 PM IST: Tidy Over
Fakhar Zaman is the new batter. Glenn Maxwell with his third over. Two singles and a couple. Four from the over. 13 from the last three overs. PAK - 75/1 (11)
8:15 PM IST: Zampa Gets Babar
Adam Zampa with his second over. A dot, then a wide. Another dot to Babar Azam. A couple of singles, then a dot. And Zampa gets Azam. Pakistan skipper goes for 39 off 34, caught by David Warner at long on. PAK - 71/1 (10)
8:11 PM IST: Busy Over
Glenn Maxwell on with his second over. Six singles. 39 runs in the last 30 balls. PAK - 68/0 (9)
8:08 PM IST: Sixth Bowler
Bowling change. Mitchell Marsh on. Sixth bowler for Aaron Finch. Babar Azam takes a couple, then hits a four. Straight drive. 11 from the over. PAK - 62/0 (8)
8:04 PM IST: 50 Up
Adam Zampa gets his first over. Four singles. And fifty up for Pakistan. 22 from the last three overs. PAK - 51/0 (7)
8:00 PM IST: Powerplay Over
Pat Cummins on with his second over. Mohammad Rizwan is catching up with Babar Azam. He pulls the third ball for a six,.. Glenn Maxwell makes it a four with a stunning effort at deep. And Rizwan gets a life off the last ball. A diving Adam Zampa drops him at fine leg. Nine from the over. And this is Pakistan's best powerplay score this tournament. Four more than what they scored against India. PAK - 47/0 (6)
7:55 PM IST: First Six
Josh Hazlewood returns for his second over. Mohammad Rizwan launches the first ball for a six, over square leg boundary. Nine from the over. PAK - 38/0 (5)
7:50 PM IST: Babar Class
Double bowling change. Pat Cummins on and Babar Azam hits the second ball for a four. Eight from the over. PAK - 29/0 (4)
7:46 PM IST: Rizwan Four
Glenn Maxwell on. Mohammad Rizwan hits the third ball for a four, then another four, off the last ball this time by Babar Azam. 10 from the over. PAK - 21/0 (3)
7:40 PM IST: Another Azam Four
Josh Hazlewood shares the new ball. Babar Azam plays a delectable cover drive off the second ball. Five from the over. PAK - 11/0 (2)
7:35 PM IST: Azam Four
Mohammad Rizwan takes the strike. One leg bye. Babar Azam flicks the fourth ball for a four, to fine leg. Six from the over.
7:28 PM IST: All Set
National anthems done. Mitchell Starc with the new ball. Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan are the openers. Aussies take the knee while Pakistanis are having their hands on hearts.
7:21 PM IST: Pakistan Stats
And one interesting stats before the start. For the sixth consecutive T20I game, Pakistan are playing the same XI, which is a record for ICC Full Member team.
7:16 PM IST: Captains Speak
Pakistan captain Babar Azam says it's "an honour to lead this bunch of players, looking forward to playing some good cricket." He also claims that "the UAE is our [Pakisrtan's] backyard." They sure know the conditions well.
Aussie skipper Aaron Finch admits that "there'll be obvious nerves" but they are confident.
7:08 PM IST: Playing XIs
Pakistan: Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Babar Azam (c), Fakhar Zaman, Mohammad Hafeez, Shoaib Malik, Asif Ali, Shadab Khan, Imad Wasim, Hasan Ali, Haris Rauf, Shaheen Afridi.
Australia: David Warner, Aaron Finch (c), Mitchell Marsh, Steven Smith, Glenn Maxwell, Marcus Stoinis, Matthew Wade (wk), Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Adam Zampa, Josh Hazlewood.
7:30 PM IST: Toss
Australia bowl first against Pakistan. Both the sides are unchanged.
6:42 PM IST: Head-to-head
Pakistan have won 12, lost nine, tied one and abandoned one in their 23 T20 International matches played against Australia.
6:40 PM IST: Likely XIs
Pakistan: Mohammad Rizwan, Babar Azam, Fakhar Zaman, Mohammad Hafeez, Shoaib Malik, Asif Ali, Shadab Khan, Imad Wasim, Hasan Ali, Haris Rauf, Shaheen Afridi.
Australia: David Warner, Aaron Finch, Mitchell Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Steven Smith, Marcus Stoinis, Matthew Wade, Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Adam Zampa, Josh Hazlewood.
If thrashing India in a World Cup broke a jinx for Pakistan, Babar Azam's team will be up against another bogey side in the second semifinal of the ICC T20 World Cup 2021 in Dubai tonight. Statistically speaking, Australia have never lost to Pakistan in a World Cup knock-out match and if they can protect that record, Aaron Finch's team will set up a Trans-Tasman battle royale in Dubai on Sunday (November 14).
New Zealand stormed into their maiden final of the ICC Men's T20 World Cup in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday, courtesy a five-wicket win with an over to spare. Pakistan are the form team in the T20 World Cup 2021. They have been unbeaten in their group and are now looking to achieve what no team ever has: win the men's T20 World Cup without losing a single match. Pakistan have the team to do this.
Young skipper Babar Azam has played a leading role with four half-centuries in the Super 12 stage. He has been well supported by Mohammad Rizwan at the top and veterans like Shoaib Malik, Mohammad Hafeez and Asif Ali have added muscle to the middle order. Australia will pin their hopes on their bowling. Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood have to strike in the first powerplay or else things can get out of control.
It will be interesting to see how the Pakistan batsmen handle leg-spinner Adam Zampa, who is among the leading wicket-takers of this T20 World Cup. Australia's top order will face the Shaheen Afridi test. The lanky left-arm seamer destroyed India in a deadly opening spell and if Afridi can do an encore, Australia will expose a rather untested middle order. Of the 640 runs they have scored in this T20 World Cup, 402 have been scored by the top three of Aaron Finch, David Warner and Mitchell Marsh.