T20 World Cup result: Stoinis and Wade seal remarkable win for Australia
Australia are into the T20 World Cup final as a remarkable rescue act from Marcus Stoinis and Matthew Wade sealed a five-wicket victory over Pakistan at Dubai.
Pakistan were heavily fancied to book a showdown against New Zealand on Sunday and that was reinforced when Australia stumbled to 96 for five in pursuit of 172 after Shadab Khan collected his fourth wicket of the innings.
But Stoinis and Wade were undeterred, whittling down the target to 22 off the final 12 balls in an unbroken 81-run stand. Wade then ended matters with an over to spare thanks to three sixes in a row off Shaheen Shah Afridi.
Wade, dropped in the deep on 21 moments before launching an attack on Afridi, was unbeaten on 41 from 17 balls and Stoinis was a capable foil on 40 not out from 31 deliveries as Australia defied the odds to reach the showpiece.
Hammered by England at this venue less than two weeks ago, they have responded in emphatic fashion and they ended Pakistan’s 100 per cent record in the tournament to guarantee a first-time winner will be crowned on Sunday.
It emerged afterwards that Pakistan opener Mohammad Rizwan had spent the build-up to this semi-final in intensive care with a chest infection but he roused himself to contribute a crucial 67 from 52 balls.
Fakhar Zaman’s unbeaten 55 from 32 deliveries lifted Pakistan to 176 for four after they were asked to bat first and Shadab’s four for 26 seemingly put the tournament favourites in a handsome position.
Australia were profligate in the field, putting down three catches of varying degrees of difficulty, but Hasan Ali spilling a relatively simple chance proved decisive as Wade capitalised to silence a partisan Pakistan crowd.
Pakistan skipper Babar Azam was left to rue that drop.
“The way we started in the first half, we got the total we targeted,” he said.
“But we gave them too much of a chance at the end of the chase.
“If we had taken that catch, it might have made the difference. But the way we played this tournament, the way we gelled, I’m very satisfied as a captain.
“I hope we try and learn from our mistakes after this. Definitely, if we’ve played so well in a tournament, we’ll gain confidence, and we’ll continue to try and play this way.
“The roles we’d defined for the players, they all executed very well. The way the crowds supported us, we enjoyed it a lot as a team, as we always do, and I’m very grateful for it.”
Big Bash League
The dozen English stars you don’t want to miss in Australia’s Big Bash League
England’s dashing dozen are set to dazzle downunder.
Ajaz Patel joins elite club as he bags all ten wickets in India’s first innings
Ajaz Patel joins Jim Laker and Anil Kumble on the pedestal.
Justin Langer still haunted by Ben Stokes’ Headingley heroics but welcomes his return
The all-rounder produced the performance of a lifetime when the sides faced each other on English soil two-and-a-half years ago.
Second Test: India vs New Zealand – Day two – Scoreboard
Follow India vs New Zealand.
Second Test: Bangladesh vs Pakistan – Day one – Scoreboard
Follow Bangladesh vs Pakistan live!
Shaheen Afridi relishes his Pakistan new-ball partnership with Hasan Ali
Shaheen Afridi has 44 Test wickets to his name this year while Hasan Ali has 39.
Virat Kohli dismissal sparks furious debate over TV umpires and DRS
Virat Kohli fumes as TV umpires makes questionable call.
On this day in cricket history: Muttiah Muralitharan breaks Test wickets world record
The all-time great Sri Lanka off-spinner reached the landmark by bowling Paul Collingwood in the first Test against England in Kandy.
Andrew Gale and Martyn Moxon among 16 to leave Yorkshire due to racism crisis
The county have parted company with their entire coaching team in the wake of Azeem Rafiq racism investigation.
Ben Stokes enjoys valuable batting practice during Ashes warm-up match
The all-rounder has been playing for the first time since taking an indefinite break from all cricket in July to prioritise his mental well-being.