In a match that went on similar lines to the first semi-final between New Zealand and England, Australia went into the last four overs needing 50. However, Matthew Wade (41* off 17) and Marcus Stoinis (40* off 31) lifted Australia to a famous win. Wade smacked Shaheen Shah Afridi for three consecutive sixes to pull off an incredible victory with an over to spare.
In the 17th over, Stoinis muscled Haris Rauf for a six over midwicket and a four past the bowler. Wade joined in and punished Hasan Ali for a maximum over long-on. The last delivery of the over was smartly flicked past deep square leg for four.
It came down to 22 off 12 for Australia. On the third ball of the 19th over bowled by Afridi, Hasan Ali dropped a catch of Wade at deep midwicket. It proved to be fatal for Pakistan as Wade deposited the next three balls for sixes to put Australia in the T20 World Cup 2021 final. After scooping the fourth ball cheekily over short fine leg, Wade clubbed the next one over midwicket. The winning runs came via another ramp over the keeper for a maximum.
Australia got off to a horror start in the chase as Afridi trapped Aaron Finch (0) dead in front with a peach in the first over. A full delivery swung back in, beat Finch for pace and rapped him on the pads. There was no way the ball was going to miss the stumps.
Mitchell Marsh survived a scorching yorker from the left-arm seamer first-ball. The full, swinging delivery struck Marsh on the toe. The umpire did not raise his finger and the Aussie batter was safe via umpire’s call. There was a run-out appeal but Marsh survived there as well.
Australia counter-attacked in brutal fashion after that. In the fourth over, a confident David Warner clubbed Imad Wasim for a six and two fours off consecutive balls. After whacking a maximum over deep midwicket, Warner sent the next two balls through cover and fine leg respectively for boundaries.
Haris Rauf’s introduction in the next over was greeted by a six and a four by Marsh. Australia reached 52 for 1 at the end of the powerplay. However, Marsh fell immediately after for 28. The Aussie No. 3 top-edged a slog sweep off leggie Shadab Khan to deep square leg.
Mohammad Hafeez was brought in to bowl the seventh over and sent down a bizarre first ball, which bounced twice. Warner thrashed the no-ball over deep midwicket for a six. 13 came off Hafeez’s first over as Australia shifted the pressure onto their opponents.
In the next over, Warner lofted Shadab for yet another six, this time over wide long-on. However, the Pakistan vice-captain kept his side in his game, getting the massive scalp of Steve Smith (5). Like Marsh, Smith perished while miscuing a slog sweep.
Pakistan could have had Warner in the 10th over when Glenn Maxwell punched one on the off side and set off for a run. He made a complete misjudgment though, as the ball went to the left-handed Fakhar Zaman. Warner had given up but the Pakistan fielder failed to hit the target at the striker’s end. Australia reached 89 for 3 at the halfway stage.
Immediately after the drinks break, Shadab dealt Australia a massive blow, sending back Warner for 49. Shockingly for Australia, while the left-hander walked off thinking he had edged a googly, Ultra Edge showed daylight between bat and ball.
Shadab had a fourth when Maxwell failed to time his famed switch hit and was caught well inside the boundary. At 96 for 5, the semi-final was firmly in Pakistan’s grasp. However, Wade and Stoinis had other ideas.
Rizwan, Zaman shine as Pakistan post 176 for 4
Mohammad Rizwan top-scored with 67 from 52 while Fakhar Zaman returned to form with a blazing 55* off 32 as Pakistan put up an impressive 176 for 4 after being sent into bat. Rizwan and skipper Babar Azam (39) once again laid the foundation for Pakistan adding 71 for the opening wicket. Zaman then repaid his captain’s faith, teeing off at the end as Australia conceded 59 in the last five overs.
While Azam looked fluent from the beginning, Rizwan got off to a nervous start. He had a lucky escape against Maxwell in the third over as his hoick hung in the air and gave Warner a chance to pull off a stunning catch. Running back, the Aussie opener dived but could not hold on.
Off the first ball of the fifth over, Rizwan pulled Josh Hazlewood for a six. But he had a second escape when Adam Zampa put down a catch at fine leg off Pat Cummins’ bowling. That also marked the end of the powerplay, with Pakistan reaching 47 without loss.
A couple of tight overs from Australia forced Azam to try and break the shackles. But he could only slog sweep Zampa to long-on. Exactly at the halfway stage, Pakistan were 71 for 1.
In the leggie’s next over, Rizwan smacked a six over square leg. The Pakistan opener took on Josh Hazlewood when the Aussie pacer came on to bowl the 14th over. He clobbered a length ball over deep square leg for six and brought up his fifty off 41 balls with a single off the next ball.
Rizwan and Zaman combined to punish Hazlewood for 21 in his last over. Zaman slapped a loose delivery over long-off. Rizwan then helped himself to a four off a high full-toss, which was also a no ball. The Pakistan opener whipped the free hit for a six over wide long-on.
Rizwan perished to Starc, missing his attempted big hit, but Zaman ensured his departure did not affect Pakistan’s run rate. The very next ball, he launched the left-arm seamer a six over wide long-on.
Asif Ali (0) and Shoaib Malik (1) fell cheaply looking for boundaries. However, Zaman whacked smacked Starc for consecutive sixes in the last over to lift Pakistan to an excellent total. The first maximum was struck over wide long-on and the second whipped over midwicket. The latter six also brought up Zaman’s splendid half-century.
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Pakistan vs Australia 2nd semi-final: Who won Player of the Match in yesterday's T20 World Cup 2021 match?
Zampa was Australia’s best bowler, conceding only 22 and picking up the wicket of Babar. When Australia batted, Warner and Stoinis played fighting knocks to keep the Aussies in the game. Wade’s brilliance then blew Pakistan away.
Rizwan carried on his fine batting form for Pakistan in the semis. His 67, which featured three fours and four sixes, laid the platform for a solid total. Zaman returned to form with a splendid fifty. Shadab was superb with the ball. His four-fer put Pakistan on top before the game changed.
Wade was named Player of the Match for his spectacular innings.