Australia to face NZ in T20 WC final

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Australia to face NZ in T20 WC final

Friday, 12 November 2021 | PTI | Dubai

Australia to face NZ in T20 WC final

Australia defeated Pakistan by five wickets to enter the final of the ICC T20 World Cup here on Thursday.

Sent into bat, Mohammad Rizwan and Fakhar Zaman smashed quick fifties as Pakistan posted a challenging 176 for four.       

Opening the innings, Rizwan scored 67 off 52 balls during which he hit three boundaries and four sixes, while Zaman remained unbeaten on 55 off 32 balls with the help of three fours and four sixes.

Together with skipper Babar Azam (39), Rizwan shared 71 runs for the opening stand before stitching 72 runs with Zaman.

For Australia, Mitchell Starc picked up two wickets for 38 runs.

 Chasing, David Warner made 49, while Matthew Wade smashed a 17-ball unbeaten 41 and Marcus Stoinis was not out on 40 off 31 deliveries as Australia overhauled the target with an over to spare.

Shadab Khan was the best bowler for Pakistan with figures of 4 for 26.

Australia will now face New Zealand in the final on Sunday.

Mohammad Rizwan struck his third half-century of the tournament before Fakhar Zaman roared back to form with a 32-ball unbeaten 55 to power Pakistan to 176 for four in the second semifinal of the ICC T20 World Cup here on Thursday. 

 Openers Rizwan (67 off 52) and Babar Azam (39 off 44) shared a 71-run stand before Zaman ended the innings on a high with his unbeaten knock.

The last five overs yielded 59 runs for Pakistan.   

 Pakistan enjoyed their best powerplay of the tournament, racing to 47 for no loss in six overs after Australia put them in to bat.

Rizwan, who was down with flu ahead of the game, did not look at his best early on and Babar took the lead in attacking the Australian pace attack. The Aussies were looking for some swing early on but they were not able to get it.             

 The Pakistan skipper began with a regal cover drive off a late outswinger from Josh Hazlewood. Babar, who had shown supreme form in the group stage, looked in sublime touch. Among the five regal boundaries he hit, his short-arm jab between deep midwicket and long-on stood out.

 Leg-spinner Adam Zampa, who has been Australia’s go to bowler in the middle overs, finally got the breakthrough Australia needed by having Babar caught in the deep with Pakistan reaching 71 for one in 10 overs. More than the ball, it was the pressure created by Zampa that led to the wicket.

Rizwan, who was dropped twice in the innings, got into the act after Babar’s dismissal. The wicketkeeper batter grew in confidence as his innings progressed and once he he got his trademark half full half sweep shot right off Hazlewood, he looked much more dangerous. 

Australia did well from overs 7-11, conceding only 28 before Rizwan changed Gears.

He decided to take the attack to the impressive Zampa in the 12th over which went for 14 runs and included a slog sweep for six.

Rizwan got his second six off Hazlewood two overs later, dispatching the seasoned pacer over deep midwicket.

 Zaman, who did not have a lot of runs under his belt heading into the semifinal, hit a flat six over long off to gain confidence.

With Zampa completing his tidy effort, Pakistan were looking for a big over and that happened to be the 17th when Hazlewood was hammered for 21 runs, including a six off a free hit.  

After Rizwan’s dismissal, Zaman displayed his power hitting skills against Mitchell Starc, clubbing him for a six and four in a 15-run over.

Six-hitting machine Asif Ali had a rare failure in the tournament as he was out first ball off Cummins.  

Zaman finished the innings on an exhilarating note, depositing Starc for two massive sixes to take the team past 170.

Zampa (1/22 in four overs) was the pick of the bowlers for Australia while Hazlewood was the most expensive, leaking 49 runs in four overs.

 Brief scores:

 Pakistan: 176 for 4 wickets in 20 overs (Mohammad Rizwan 67, Fakhar Zaman 55 not out; Mitchell Starc 2/38).

 Australia: 177 for 5 in 19 overs (David Warner 49, Matthew Wade 41 not out, Marcus Stoinis 40 not out; Shadab Khan 4/26).  

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