T20 World Cup final opponent confirmed as Australia beat Pakistan in semi

Author
news.com.au,
Publish Date
Fri, 12 Nov 2021, 7:33AM
(Photo / Getty)
(Photo / Getty)

T20 World Cup final opponent confirmed as Australia beat Pakistan in semi

Author
news.com.au,
Publish Date
Fri, 12 Nov 2021, 7:33AM

Australia has pulled off a miracle run chase to qualify for the final of the T20 World Cup against the Black Caps thanks to some heroic hitting at the death. 

Matthew Wade thumped three consecutive sixes in the 19th over to drive Australia to a five-wicket win that looked well out of reach when the middle order stuttered in pursuit of the more favoured Pakistan's 4/176. 

The winning runs were struck on the last ball of the 19th over - just as the Black Caps had done 24 hours earlier in their own come-from-behind win against England. 

Like Daryl Mitchell and Jimmy Neesham for the Black Caps yesterday, today it was Marcus Stoinis and Matthew Wade who were the heroes for Australia, playing astonishing knocks. Stoinis smacked 40 off 31 balls while Wade — who has hardly batted outside the top three ever in white ball cricket — crunched an unbeaten 41 from just 17 deliveries to enhance his status as a finisher. 

When David Warner was out caught behind for 49 off 30 — despite not hitting the ball — the Aussies were 4-89 from 10.1 overs after Aaron Finch (golden duck), Mitchell Marsh (28 off 22) and Steve Smith (five off six) had all departed. 

Glenn Maxwell couldn't work his magic, gone for seven, but Stoinis and Wade — who combined to guide Australia home in its first game of the tournament against South Africa — performed another rescue mission. 

Stoinis was batting brilliantly and with three overs to go his side needed 37 for victory. He crunched a six and Wade slapped a four to leave them requiring 22 from 12 balls. 

Left-arm quick Shaheen Shah Afridi has been one of Pakistan's standouts this tournament and stepped up to bowl the penultimate over. Wade was gifted a life when Hasan Ali dropped a simple chance at deep mid-wicket — it cost Pakistan the game. 

With four runs already off the first three balls of the over — including two runs courtesy of Ali's drop — the Wade played a ridiculous lap shot over fine leg for six, slapped another maximum over the leg side then got down on one knee again to lap a third ball over the rope and secure an astonishing victory with six balls to spare. 

Earlier, half centuries by in-form Mohammad Rizwan (67) and Fakhar Zaman (55 not out) helped Pakistan reach 176-4 after Australia captain Aaron Finch won the toss and elected to field. 

Australia will play New Zealand in the final starting at 3am on Monday morning (NZT).