Okay. We have one finalist. Who will be the other? Pakistan or India? That mouth-watering contest is set to be played on Tuesday, 30th January, 2018 at this very same venue, Hagley Oval, Christchurch at 1030 local (2130 GMT, previous day). Hopefully, it will not be as one-sided as this one. See ya then! ADIOS! TAKE CARE!
A smiling victorious Australia captain Jason Sangha says that there has been a lot of hard work put in for reaching this stage. Says that he is impressed a lot by the Afghan spinners and calls them a bountiful of talent. Adds that he anyways wanted to bowl first and the conditions worked in his team's favour. Praises Edwards for the innings he played. On picking the spinners, he says one needed to settle down initially but is still not sure whether he would still be able to pick them. On watching the semi-final tomorrow, he says that he is a pretty boring person and prefers to chill away from the game. Is confident, he says regarding the final, be it India or Pakistan and adds that the team is geared up for it.
Afghanistan skipper, Naveen-ul-Haq, says that his team was 40-50 runs short. Says that his side had a couple of unlucky dismissals down the leg side, of which one was not out. Does not want to comment on that. Is proud of his team and says that every one is a match-winner. Is also proud that they have made it to the semi-final of the World Cup and assures that they will put in one last step to finish third.
MAN OF THE MATCH, JACK EDWARDS, says that they had done some research on the Afghan spinners and wanted to attack the new balls before the spinners took effect. Admits that it is very difficult to pick them. Admits he struggled quite a few times but got away with those. On his big hits, he says that he was trying to hit straight and backed himself. On the wicket, he says that a batsman needed time to settle in before playing his shots. Thinks for a while and then says that he will be watching the India-Pakistan semi-final tomorrow.
All eyes were on the Afghanistan spinners when they came out to defend. But Australia were ready. They came out hard, lost an early wicket but Jack Edwards took the game away. He was dropped on 8, a fairly simple chance and he made the Asians pay. He ended up with 72 from 65 balls and when he got out, the target was down to 53 from 149 balls. The middle order made use of the opportunity to spend some time at the crease and took Australia home comfortably. Presentation coming up...
Ryan Hadley and Zak Evans set the tone in Powerplay 1, conceding just 27 runs. The other bowlers maintained the pressure and eventually restricted the Asian side to 181. Jonathan Merlo picked up 4 wickets. Also, there were a couple of unlucky dismissals for Afghanistan with the bat.
One-sided game. Not quite expected. Australia were touted as favourites but by only 55 percent before the start of the game. However, their fast bowlers have taken them into the final.
Mujeeb Ur Rahman to
AUSTRALIA ARE INTO THE FINAL! For the 5th time. Outside off, McSweeney punches it through covers and comes back for the third! Victory with 6 wickets and 75 balls to spare!
Very full outside off, steered behind point for a very well run couple. 50-RUN STAND comes up, consuming 73 balls but has looked assuring.
A full toss outside off, driven straight to cover.
Zahir Khan to
Outside off, punched straight to cover.
Mujeeb Zadran is back on.
Full and outside off, eased to cover.
Down the leg side, turned towards square leg for a single.
Great effort. Short and outside off, Uppal cuts it through point and finds the gap. Rahmanullah Gurbaz gives it a good chase, gets to the ball and pulls it back in. However, he signals a boundary to the umpire. But hang on, the replays show that he has saved the boundary! Three runs given. Australia a hit away now.
Outside off, driven towards Darwish Rasooli at extra cover who fumbles again and concedes a single. 9 more needed now.
Huge appeal for a caught behind! Turned down! The Afghans look shocked. And rightly so. Full and outside off, McSweeney looks to drive but misses. There is a big noise heard and they appeal but the umpire stays put. Replays detect a thick outside edge.
Zahir Khan is back on.
That took off! OUCH. A bouncer by a spinner, outside off, seam-up, Param gets out of the way but the poor keeper, tries to save his head and outs his gloves in the way. Wrings his hands in pain. A MAIDEN. 10-2-35-2 are the figures for Qais. Well tried, lad.
Full on middle, flicked straight to widish mid on.