T20 World Cup: Wade completes another epic chase to set up Australia-New Zealand final

By Sports Desk November 11, 2021

Australia successfully executed another astonishing semi-final run chase to beat Pakistan by five wickets and join New Zealand in the T20 World Cup final.

New Zealand had stunned England in the first semi on Thursday, and Australia followed suit thanks to Matthew Wade's unbeaten 41 off 17, taking the match away from Pakistan just as they looked to be in the driving seat.

As in the encounter between the Black Caps and England, momentum swung back and forth in an epic at Dubai International Cricket Stadium.

Australia won the toss and decided to bowl, but David Warner and Adam Zampa each dropped early half-chances from Mohammad Rizwan, who capitalised to score 67 in building big partnerships with Babar Azam (39) and Fakhar Zaman (55 not out).

Zaman hit seven boundaries, including four sixes, off just 32 balls to ensure a big finish and a total of 176-4, and Pakistan were in the ascendancy as Shaheen Shah Afridi (1-35) then made a blistering start with the ball, removing Aaron Finch for a duck and seeing Mitchell Marsh survive only by umpire's call from the very next delivery.

But the depth of Australia's batting line-up kept them in with a shout as they were left with enough depth even after David Warner (49) fell to Shadab Khan (4-26).

A mammoth undefeated partnership of 81 off just 41 deliveries between Wade and Marcus Stoinis (40 no) got the job done, although it should have been halted by Hasan Ali, who dropped Wade off Afridi in the middle of the 19th over.

Wade's response was ruthless, sending the next three balls for six to complete an outstanding pursuit on 177-5 with six balls to spare.

Rizwan rockets to runs record

Babar – this stadium's leading T20I run scorer – already had four fifties at this tournament, a joint-record at a single T20 World Cup, and he looked on course for a new benchmark until Zampa intervened at the end of the 10th over.

Rather than slow Pakistan, though, that wicket set the stage for an innings-defining second-wicket stand from Rizwan and Zaman, who combined for 72 off 46, including 21 in the 17th over alone.

Zaman's big hitting caught the eye, but Rizwan's four sixes helped take him to 1,000 T20I runs in 2021. He is the first player to reach four figures in a single calendar year.

Hapless Hasan lets Wade win it

Shadab was a rare positive with the ball for Pakistan, becoming only the second bowler to take four wickets in a T20 World Cup semi or final after Ajantha Mendis' 4-12 in the 2012 decider. His bowling economy of 6.50 was far and away his side's best effort.

Even his other misfiring team-mates paled next to Hasan, who must have thought his evening could get no worse after giving up 11 runs an over after using his full quota.

But Hasan's attempts to make amends saw him make up good ground to get under a ball from Wade, only to run too far, let the chance slip through his hands and watch on in despair as the batsman took the tournament away from a previously unbeaten Pakistan side.

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