Australia Stun Pakistan To Set Up T20 World Cup Final Against New Zealand

Matthew Wade and Marcus Stoinis embrace after Wade smashed an unbeaten 41 off only 17 balls, while Stoinis finished 40 not out off 21 to guide Australia to a dramatic victory over Pakistan
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Australia came back from the brink to beat Pakistan by five wickets in another gripping Men’s T20 World Cup semi-final.

Needing 20 off the final 10 balls, Matthew Wade was dropped by Hassan Ali before hitting the next three deliveries for six to complete a stunning pursuit of 177 in Dubai.

Australia had been struggling at 96-5, despite a belligerent 49 from David Warner, before Wade and Marcus Stoinis’ grandstand finish.

Wade smashed an unbeaten 41 off only 17 balls, while Stoinis finished 40 not out off 21, their remarkable stand of 81 in 6.4 overs carrying Australia home with an over to spare and silencing a largely Pakistan-supporting crowd.

It was a second thrilling finale in 24 hours after New Zealand’s dramatic victory over England in Wednesday’s semi-final.

Australia and New Zealand, neither of whom have won the T20 World Cup, will meet in the final in Dubai on Sunday.

Very few would have expected Australia – who came into this tournament having lost their past five T20 series and were bowled out for just 62 by Bangladesh in August – to reach the final.

They lost captain Aaron Finch for a duck in the first over, saw key players Mitchell Marsh and Steve Smith fall to Shadab, and luck seemed to be against them when Warner was given out despite replays suggesting he had not edged the ball through to keeper Rizwan.

Stoinis and Wade were excellent. Stoinis overcame his struggles against spin to see off Shadab and Imad Wasim, and he and Wade were content to take risky singles to keep the run-rate ticking over.

They were helped, too, by a below-par Pakistan. Hassan endured a dreadful day with the ball, finishing with figures of 0-44. He bowled the 18th over, which Stoinis swung for 15 runs to put Australia on top.

His drop of Wade also proved crucial. Wade slogged the ball into the air and it should have been an easy catch for Hassan at deep mid-wicket. Instead, he overran and let the ball slip through his fingers.

He could only then watch as Wade swung three sixes away, the final one an audacious ramp that sailed into a silent crowd in Dubai. It was a stunning victory for a side that, as Finch said, had been written off in the build-up to the tournament. (BBC Sport)

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