Pakistan’s dream of winning the Twenty20 World Cup ended in the second semi-final on Thursday as rivals Australia rode unbeaten cameos from Marcus Stoinis and Matthew Wade to clinch the five-wicket win with one over to spare at the Dubai International Stadium.
Wade and Stoinis stood unbeaten in a six-hitting feast to take Australia into the Twenty20 World Cup final against New Zealand on Sunday, who beat England in the first semi-final in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday.
Set 177 for victory, Australia were in trouble at 96-5 when Stoinis (40) and Wade (41) put on 81 runs to finish off the match. The left-handed Wade, who was dropped by Hasan Ali on 21, smashed three straight sixes off Shaheen Afridi in the 19th over to set up the title clash in Dubai on Sunday.
David Warner made 49 before being caught behind off leg-spinner Shadab Khan who took four wickets. The in-form had kept up the attack from one end with support from Mitchell Marsh. Shadab turned up the heat in the seventh over to get Marsh out for 28.
The leg-spinner struck in each of his four overs to claim the big wickets including Steve Smith (5), and Glenn Maxwell (7) as Australia lost half their side for 96. Warner was caught behind after hitting three fours and three sixes in his 30-ball stay. Replays later showed there was no contact off the bat.
Earlier, Mohammad Rizwan and Fakhar Zaman smashed breezy half-centuries to help Pakistan post 176-4. Put in to bat, Pakistan got off to a strong start with Rizwan (67) and skipper Babar Azam (39) forging a 71-run partnership for the opening wicket.
Fakhar provided the late charge for the 2009 champions with an unbeaten 55 off 32 balls. Rizwan and Zaman put on 72 for the second wicket after the opening stand of 71 with skipper Babar Azam, who made 39 to unsettle the Australian bowling in the first six overs of powerplay.
Leg-spinner Adam Zampa broke the opening stand after sending back Babar, who has amassed 303 runs to lead the tournament’s batting chart, caught at long-on following his 34-ball knock laced with five fours.
Rizwan kept up the attack and smashed Zampa for a six to become the first player to aggregate 1,000 runs in T20 internationals in a calendar year. He survived a hit on the helmet grill by a quick bouncer from Pat Cummins as the physio came in to conduct a concussion test with the batsman smiling.
A six and a single off pace bowler Josh Hazlewood brought up his fifty in 41 balls with Zaman at the other end before he exploded as well. Rizwan finally fell to Mitchell Starc while trying to force the pace and was caught at mid-off, ending an attacking partnership that came in 46 balls.