T20 World Cup: Australia defeat Pakistan by 5 wickets to progress into the finals

(Cricket news) Pakistan’s unbeaten run at the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup came to an end when Australia defeated the tournament’s in-form team by five wickets in Dubai. Having not won the T20 World Cup since 2009, Pakistan started off strongly with openers Mohammad Rizwan (67 runs off 52) and skipper Babar Azam (39 runs off 34) sharing an opening stand of 71 runs. Babar became the fastest batsman to reach 2,500 runs in T20 internationals in 62 innings, six quicker than Virat Kohli.

Pakistan’s skipper was dismissed at 38 runs off Adam Zampa’s delivery with David Warner catching Azam’s shot at long-on. However, Rizwan continued his fine form, reaching a half century in 41 balls while Fakhar Zaman (55 runs off 32) supported him. In the 17th over, Rizwan scored his third and fourth sixes of his innings but was then caught by Steve Smith at mid-off on Mitchell Starc’s delivery. 

Zaman continued to knock Australia out of the park, scoring two sixes in the final three balls of the innings as Zaman scored 55 runs with Pakistan posting a score of 176/4 in 20 overs. Shaheen Afridi began Pakistan’s bowling in the best possible fashion, taking Aaron Finch’s wicket in the very first ball of the innings with an lbw. Mitchell Marsh (28 runs off 22) was also almost dismissed in the next delivery which was a yorker with David Warner (49 runs off 30) getting runs off Imad Wasim, scoring 14 runs off 3 balls. Australia regained momentum after their early setback to post a score of 51-1 after the powerplay.

However, Marsh was soon caught by Asif Ali off Shadab Khan’s delivery as he attempted a slog-sweep. The spinner then went on to take the wickets of Steve Smith (5 runs off 6) and Glenn Maxwell (7 runs off 10) with David Warner also being dismissed at the start of the 11th over. With Australia at 89-4, Marcus Stoinis (40 runs off 31) took the crease and his partnership with Matthew Wade (41 runs off 17) proved to be the turning point with 50 runs scored between them in 32 balls, thereby ensuring that Australia scored 177/5 in 19 overs.

With this result, the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup finals will be between New Zealand and Australia on Sunday, 14th November at 7:30 pm IST at the Dubai International Stadium.

Also read: Wade thought semifinal against Pakistan could be his last opportunity to represent Australia


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