Twitter Reactions: Wade and Stoinis do a Michael Hussey against Pakistan and set a Trans-Tasman date in the grand finale

Twitter Reactions: Wade and Stoinis do a Michael Hussey against Pakistan and set a Trans-Tasman date in the grand finale

Hard luck for Pakistan but dropping Wade's catch hurt them very badly as he smacked three consecutive sixes to win the game for Australia.

Matthew Wade and Marcus Stoinis
Matthew Wade and Marcus Stoinis. (Photo by Alex Davidson/Getty Images)

Amazing! Absolutely amazing! If it was Michael Hussey 11 years ago, it was Matthew Wade and to some extent Marcus Stoinis for Australia today. Pakistan continue to lose to Australia in the World Cup knockouts despite playing the best cricket of their lives, the Men in Green bowed out of the tournament thanks to some terrific batting from those two men, Wade and Stoinis who were brilliant after it seemed there were no hopes for Australia at one stage.

Earlier, Pakistan were put in to bat first and after Australia won the toss. But the Men in Green were ready for the challenge having tested themselves out in the Super 12 in a couple of matches. Babar Azam led the way in the powerplay with Mohammad Rizwan looking a little bit. However, the duo made sure to go unscathed through the first six overs.

Aaron Finch missed the trick by introducing Glenn Maxwell into the attack in the third over and that opened the floodgates with Pakistan being aware of their fifth bowler issue. Babar took the attack to Australia but screws were tightened once the field was spread. Babar and Rizwan did add 71 runs for the opening wicket but it took 10 overs for them.

The Pakistan skipper was flummoxed by leg-spinner Adam Zampa delivering an excellent over and eventually getting his number. The pressure was on Pakistan to up the ante and this is when Rizwan stepped up. The wicketkeeper-batter hit some crucial boundaries in yet another fantastic partnership, adding 72 runs in just 7.2 overs. Fakhar Zaman supported Rizwan well with the latter continuing his good form smashing 67 runs off 52 balls.

Asif Ali and Shoaib Malik also got out in a hurry but the real impetus to the innings was given by Fakhar who came back to form at the perfect time for Pakistan. He pummelled Australia’s bowlers in the death overs, especially Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood who were taken apart from a lot of runs together in the last three overs.

Fakhar remained unbeaten on 55 off just 32 balls with three fours and four sixes as Pakistan ended strongly at 176/4 in their 20 overs.

A thrilling chase

When a place in the final is at stake, a chase of 177 certainly gets thrilling. And the left-arm seam bowler Shaheen Afridi just lit up the venue with his high-class bowling. He pinned Aaron Finch in front of the stumps to dismiss him for a golden duck and then caught Mitchell Marsh by surprise with a yorker only for the umpire to turn down the lbw appeal. A review followed and it was a very good decision by Chris Gaffaney.

Australia literally survived his first couple of overs and then David Warner took on Imad Wasim, one of his favourite bowlers in T20 cricket. Mitchell Marsh also got into his hitting zone and suddenly, Australia were up and running. They crossed the 50-run mark in the first six overs and the chase was perfectly on track, led by Warner.

However, Shadab Khan was yet to enjoy his best day in the tournament and he chose a big stage for it. The leg-spinner forced mistakes from the Aussie batsmen picking four wickets in his spell. It was Mitchell Marsh and Steve Smith first and then followed a bizarre dismissal of Warner who was given caught behind. In real time, it looked out but the ultra-edge didn’t show any spike and strangely, even the batter walked off much to the surprise of everyone.

Glenn Maxwell followed soon as Shadab finished with magical figures of 4/26, the best for any bowler in all T20 World Cup semi-finals. At 96/5 in the 13th over, it looked all Pakistan but Marcus Stoinis and Matthew Wade were out in the middle with a job on their hands.

The duo first weathered the storm amidst huge pressure and when the equation came down to 63 runs off the last five overs, they decided to take up the matter in their own hands. Hasan Ali and Haris Rauf were taken for runs as 40 runs came off next three overs. Australia needed 22 runs in their final two overs when Shaheen Afridi was entrusted with the responsibility to bowl the most crucial over.

The seamer started the over well but Wade was dropped by Hasan Ali in the deep and that hurt Pakistan. The left-hander stunningly scooped one off the very next ball for a six and then followed it up with two more consecutive maximums to take his team home in a thriller of an encounter.

Here’s how Twitter reacted: