World T20: Australia into the semis even as Pakistan beat them by 32 runs
Pakistan beat Australia by a huge margin of 32 runs but could not stop a rampaging certain Mr. Cricket yet again, who got Australia scraping through to the semi-finals.
Pakistan beat Australia by a huge margin of 32 runs but could not stop a rampaging certain Mr. Cricket yet again, who got Australia scraping through to the semi-finals. (All AFP Photos)
In the end, it was Michael Hussey who has proven time and again why he is one of the best blokes around when it comes to handling pressure. He scored 54 off 47 balls to ensure a scrappy but safe passage for the Aussies into the semis.
Mitchell Starc removed Mohammad Hafeez early, Lbw off a superb in-swinger. Pakistan then suffered another jolt with Imran Nazir too removed by Shane Watson.
Kamran Akmal and Nasir Jamshed got together at 29/2 when Imran Nazir was removed. Eventually, there's would be the only partnership of significance in the Pakistan innings.
Nasir Jamshed started off cautiously but gathered momentum mid-way through his innings. Him and Kamran Akmal added 79 to propel Pakistan innings on a tricky looking pitch.
Mitchell Starc displayed his effectiveness though and took 3/20, removing Hafeez, Kamran Akmal and Shahid Afridi in process. Shane Watson, Xavier Doherty and Pat Cummins took a wicket each.
Nasir Jamshed completed his fifty off 41 balls and eventually made 55, before Doherty removed him, to lead Pakistan to a decent total of 149/6.
Big hitters could not do much for Pakistan as Shahid Afridi could just make 4 off 2 balls. Only Abdul Razzaq managed a 22 off 17 balls.
Shane Watson had just scored half-centuries until this game and all may have been looking rosy for him and Australia. It was not to be his day though as young Raza Hasan removed him off a perfect delivery, pitching on leg and hitting leg.
Pakistan started off with spinners at both ends and continued bowling just spin till the 17th over when Umar Gul was introduced. Raza Hasan got the big scalp with a beauty.
Pak skipper Mohammad Hafeez too bowled with aplomb and trapped David Warner in front. He should have had him earlier but for Ian Gould's error. It was a sweet revenge though and without much loss in terms of runs.
Michael Hussey came to Australia's rescue, as he did in the 2010 World T20 against the same side. He ensured that Australia reach the semi-final at least if not a victory.
Saeed Ajmal once again proved why he is the best bowler across formats. He took 3/17 in his quota of overs to rock not just the Aussies but also pushed India on to the brink of an exit.