Favourites and undefeated Pakistan during the five preliminary matches of the T20 World Cup cricket tournament suddenly lost to Australia in the semi-final held in Dubai on Thursday night 11 November.
In spite of the three Pakistani batmen putting up a respectable total of 4/176 and taking early Australian wickets, Pakistan was beaten in the second last over after a drop catch of Matthew Wade who then hit three consecutive sixes for Australia to reach 5/177.
Matthew Wade scored 41 off just 17 balls, hitting three sixes in a row off Pakistan star bowler Shaheen Afridi who took the first Australian wicket and has been bowling most economically throughout the tournament.
“The way we started in the first half, we got the total we targeted,” said Pakistan skipper Babar Azam after the game. “But we gave them too much of a chance at the end of the chase. If we had taken that catch [of Wade], it might have made the difference.”
“The way Matthew Wade held his nerve was outstanding, that partnership with Marcus Stoinis [40 not out] was crucial,” Australia captain Aaron Finch said.
Earlier Shadab Khan had decimated the Australian top batting line up with a figure of 4/26 claiming the wickets of Marsh, Smith, Warner and Maxwell in consecutive overs.
Australia had been struggling at 5/96 despite a quick smart 49 from David Warner, before Wade and Marcus Stoinis’ put a lasting partnership with a flurry of high hitting to finish with a surprising yet magnificent victory.
Australia and New Zealand, neither of whom have won the T20 World Cup, will meet in the final in Dubai on Sunday 14 November local time.