Matthew Wade (41no off 17) seals five-wicket win with an over left by striking three successive sixes as Australia chase down victory target of 177; David Warner top-scores with 49 and Marcus Stoinis strikes 40no; Shadab Khan’s 4-26 in vain for Pakistan, who post 176-4 after being put in
Last Updated: 11/11/21 6:13pm
Australia ended Pakistan’s unbeaten run to reach their first T20 World Cup final since 2010, winning their semi-final by five wickets in Dubai.
Pakistan set a challenging target after fifties from Mohammad Rizwan (67 off 52) and Fakhar Zaman (55no off 32) helped Babar Azam’s side to 176-4.
Shadab Khan (4-26) gave Pakistan every chance of defending the total, reducing Australia to 96-5 despite David Warner’s 49 off 30, only for Marcus Stoinis (40no off 31) and Matthew Wade (41no off 17) to seal victory with a spectacular stand of 81 off 6.4 overs.
Wade closed out the chase in style, sealing victory with three successive sixes off Shaheen Shah Afridi to see Australia home with an over to spare and earn his country the right to face New Zealand in Sunday’s final.
Pakistan had not reached a World T20 final since 2009, when they lifted the trophy, and were busy from the off after being put in as Azam (39 off 34) and Rizwan shared an opening stand of 71, the side’s best of the tournament.
Rizwan lived dangerously on nought and 20 as chances eluded Warner and Adam Zampa respectively, although both opportunities were in the ‘tough’ category.
Babar drove classically on his way to becoming the fastest batsman to 2,500 T20 runs – reaching the landmark in 62 innings, six quicker than India’s Virat Kohli.
The captain looked in wonderful nick and howled in frustration when he swatted Zampa (1-22) to long-on, where Warner held the catch at head-height courtesy of a well-timed jump.
The wicket stirred Rizwan, who rallied from a blow on the helmet from Mitchell Starc (2-38) to reach his half-century off 41 balls and dominate the early stages of the second-wicket stand – Zaman scoring 16 of the first 50 runs.
Rizwan cracked the third and fourth sixes of his knock in the 17th over, dismissing Josh Hazlewood into the stands, but could not repeat the dose against Starc and chipped a catch to mid-off having already passed 1,000 T20 runs in 2021.
Zaman’s response was to launch the next ball over long-on and he had licence to carry on when Steve Smith shelled a catch at mid-off when he had 40no off 24 balls.
It proved costly as the left-hander launched Starc for two sixes off the final three balls of the innings, the second taking Zaman to fifty off 31 balls.
Shaheen Shah Afridi rocked Australia’s chase straight away by removing Aaron Finch lbw first ball with a brilliant inswinger and Mitchell Marsh (28 off 22) nearly departed to the very next delivery, almost undone by a yorker.
Warner had no choice but to go after Imad Wasim, scoring 14 off three balls, and Marsh launched Haris Rauf’s first ball for six to help garner further momentum – Australia well-placed on 51-1 at the end of the powerplay.
Marsh was determined not to let Shadab Khan settle but his adventure proved his undoing as he top-edged an attempted slog-sweep off the spinner’s second ball.
Pakistan turned to Mohammad Hafeez, who conceded seven off his first delivery – a double-bouncer no-ball that Warner savaged over the midwicket rope.
Australia’s hopes were hit hard by a double-strike from Shadab, who removed Steve Smith for five – another top-edge to blame – before having Warner caught behind at the start of the 11th over.
As Stoinis came in at 89-4, replays suggested Warner may not have made contact with the ball on its way through to Rizwan’s gloves – the batsman opting not to review.
Shadab quickly had his fourth as Glenn Maxwell reverse-swept to deep square yet the game remained in the balance as Stoinis struck the ball cleanly, striking two sixes before he and Matthew Wade posted a 50-run stand off 32 deliveries.
With 20 needed off 10 balls, Hasan Ali dropped Wade at deep midwicket and the left-hander made him pay by scooping Afridi’s next ball for six.
There was more to come, much to Pakistan’s despair, as Wade cleared midwicket before sealing matters with another scoop beyond the rope.
Watch live coverage of the ICC T20 World Cup final live on Sky Sports Cricket from 1pm on Sunday.