By Anmol Pundir

Australia in a close thriller match defeated Pakistan by 5 wickets.

Australia chased 177 in 19 overs as Matthew Wade slammed three consecutive of Shaheen Afridi’s 19 th over to clinch victory for Australia. Marcus Stoinis and Wade fetched a 81 runs 6th wicket partnership in 40 balls.

The second semi-final match being played at Dubai International Cricket Stadium between
Australia and Pakistan was almost similar to what was played between England and New
Zealand a day earlier at Abu Dhabi.

Australia winning the toss opted to bowl first, considering the dew might play important role and batting second might give some benefit to chase.

Pakistan had a very prominent start as there opening pair had done it throughout the
tournament and gave a 71-run opening partnership for their team. Pakistan were always ahead in the game with the bat, as Mohammad Rizwan’s 67(52), Babar Azam’s 39(34) and Fakhar Zaman’s 55(32) helped Pakistan to get a total of 176 in 20 overs. Adam Zampa (22/1) was the only bowler to prove economical for Australia.

Australia who came into chase 177 couldn’t have the best of the start, as Shaheen Shah Afridi bowled a dream first over of his spell in the semi-finals match. He got Aaron Finch on the third ball of the innings and beat batters on the other balls of the overs.

Pakistan were very high on their morale as they only gave 13 runs in the first 3 overs, but David Warner and Mitchell Marsh got runs in the last 3 overs of the powerplay. Australia was 52 for 1 after the powerplay.

Australia lost three consecutive wickets after that as Mitchell Marsh 28(22), Steven Smith 5(6), and David Warner 49(30) to Shadab Khan. David Warner’s wicket was a little skeptical, as the ultra-edge did not show any spark in the Warner’s catch to the wicketkeeper but Warner did not review it and Australia were 4 down after 10 overs.

Glenn Maxwell who didn’t had best of the tournament also got out while attempting a reverse hit.

Australia was almost out of the game as they needed 62 runs off 30 balls with Marcus Stoinis and Mattew Wade on the crease and Marcus Stoinis got some boundaries to keep the Australia in the game, with Wade contributing with Stoinis Australia got 25 runs off the 16th and 17th over.

Hasan Ali who bowled the 18th over gave 15 runs in his over, and it all came down to 22 runs in the last 2 overs.

Shaheen Shah Afridi the star bowler for Pakistan in the tournament came into bowl the 19th over and almost got Matthew Wade out on mid-wicket but a dropped catch from Hasan Ali proved out to be the turning point of the match, as Wade slammed 3 consecutive sixes of the next 3 balls and ensured his team will play New Zealand in the final.

Australia will face New Zealand on 14th November.

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