A match to remember at the Dubai International Stadium. Again the toss became an important factor in determining the winner. Winning the toss and bowling first, Australia had the upper hand right away.
Pakistan started as usual with Rizwan and Azam constructing a steady base for their upcoming batters to build a high structure. Their 71 runs partnership was what Pakistan needed. However, the wicket was helping the bowlers and also dew came to effect a little bit early than expected.
Struggling with the run rate, Pakistan had wickets in hand. That gave license to go after a big score for the upcoming batters. Mohammad Rizwan was again amazing. Using his small height to his advantage while having unbelievable footwork.
The first breakthrough was crucial for Australia. Adam Zampa gave a tossed-up delivery outside off, Babar tried to slog sweep it but was caught at wide long-on by David Warner. The Australian skipper had a plan in mind with Mitchell Starc’s three remaining overs at the death.
The plan however worked for a little bit until Fakhar decided to blast away the missed yorkers. Judging from the bowling figures, it was the pitch for pace bowlers. That was the reason Maxwell was given three overs and Marsh only got one.
Starc picked up two wickets. First a big wicket of Mohammad Rizwan and then Shoaib Malik in the last over. Although, Josh Hazlewood’s spell was disappointing Cummins and Zampa bowled beautifully.
Death overs heroic from Fakhar Zaman, helped Pakistan to reach 176 runs. Although batting has been easier in the second innings, if you bowl well it can turn out to be a nightmare. That was exactly what Pakistan was looking for.
Needing 177 runs to enter the finals, the Australian skipper departed in the first overs for a golden duck. Although the wicket of Finch gave Pakistan a massive boost, Warner and Mitchell Marsh turned the powerplay in their favor with some powerful batting display.
The match turned again just after the powerplay when Shadab Khan got Marsh just like Zampa got Babar but Marsh was caught at deep square leg. Steve Smith’s bad form in this season continues departing in the 9th over.
The leggie, Shadab Khan impressed again as the wicket was favoring spin a bit. His four wickets spell nearly turned the match in Pakistan’s favor. He himself was excellent however he didn’t get the desired support from the other end. Pakistan needed Hafeez to bowl some overs but his one over of 13 runs including a two-bounced no-ball which Warner hit for six discarded him from getting another over.
After two quick wickets of Warner and Maxwell, Australia nearly blew it away. But the next partnership between Marcus Stoinis and Matthew Wade aided the chase with one over to spare.
Shaheen bowled a superb 15th over giving away just 6 runs. Stoinis at that time was trying hard but was not getting the result. The next four overs turned the game on its head.
Picking up 12 runs from Hasan Ali’s 16th over, while gathering 13 runs from Haris Rauf‘s 17th over. Stoinis blasted Haris for a six and a four in consecutive delivery to pump up the pressure. Scoring 15 runs from the 18th over bowled by Hasan Ali made the Australian chase possible. It was some high-class hitting from the Australians. The bowling was however not bad but batting second and adrenaline rushing to enter the finals made the chase.
Two overs 22 runs are needed. Shaheen Afridi to bowl the penultimate over, hoping to replicate the 15th over. The match was in Pakistan’s hand but Hasan Ali drops Matthew Wade’s catch at the deep mid-wicket boundary. Normally a safe pair of hands but this time with dew in effect he just could not hold on.
The next three balls just disappeared in the night sky. Three consecutive sixes in three balls were enough to take Australia in the finals and will face New Zealand. The old rivalry between the neighbors.
A good effort from the Pakistan team throughout the ICC T20 World Cup 2021. In this match too, they were giving their everything but the situation didn’t turn their way. Nevertheless, a fantastic encounter to witness.
T20 World Cup 2021, Australia vs Pakistan: post match presentation.
Matthew Wade: (Player of the Match)
“A couple of ramp shots were pre-meditated and I am glad to get a couple of sixes like that. Stoinis was quite confident about us getting over the line and helped me. I was confident of targeting the shorter boundary against Afridi. Stoinis batted nicely and he got us to a situation where we were a few blows away from getting over the line. The feeling has still not sunk in.”
“We scored as many runs as we had planned and feels we also bowled well in the first half but the chances we gave away cost us. The turning point was the dropped catch and had that been taken, it could have been different but I am proud of how the boys fared in this tournament and I hope to learn from this loss. We have played well throughout and that will help us in the future. We have got very good support and we enjoy playing here in front of our supporters.”
“At no stage, we felt that the game was in our bag. The partnership between Wade and Stoinis was commendable. We were a bit sloppy with our fielding in this match but this win shows the depth of our team. It was a nice toss to win but I hope to lose it and bat first on what was a great wicket to bat on.”