Aussies vanquished Pakistan by 21 runs and kept alive their dreams of semis thanks to a brilliant performance by James Faulkner and his teammates on the field today.
The target of 194 was too tall for Pakistan, and they lost wickets at crucial junctures to fall short in the end. Faulkner took his T20I career best figures to rattle Pakistan. He captured five wickets for 27 runs in four overs.
|Australia v Pakistan|
|Pakistan: 172/8 (20/20 overs)|
Australia: 193/4 (20/20 over)
Adam Zampa picked up two wickets while Hazlewood took one.
For Pakistan, Khalid Latif was the highest scorer with 46 from 41. Shoaib Malik was not out on 40.
Pakistan stumbled in the 14th over when their skipper Afridi could not come to his team’s rescue. Afridi smoked two sixes, scored 14 and lasted only seven balls.
Zampa got his second as he had Afridi stumped with a wide and flatter ball.
Aussie leggie Zampa got into the act and picked up his first wicket of the match in the 11th over of Pakistan’s chase. Umar Akmal fell after a breezy 32 from 20.
Umar went for the slog sweep but failed to make contact. He smashed three fours and a six in his cameo.
Australia sent back the high-flying opener Sharjeel in the sixth over to rock Pakistan in their chase. Sharjeel tried to pull but only got a thickish inside edge onto the stumps.
Faulkner sent back Sharjeel after the batter smashed 30 from 19 balls with six fours to his name.
Chasing 194, Pakistan lost their first wicket in the third over when Aussie quick Hazlewood got the better of Ahmed Shehzad.
Shehzad top-edged his shot into the hands of Coulter-Nile at mid-off after scoring a single in six balls.
Earlier, unbeaten fifth wicket partnership of 74 runs between Watson and Smith drives Australia to 193 for 4 in 20 overs on the batting wicket at Mohali, India against a rattled Pakistan.
Both Smith and Watson opened up their shoulders late in the innings, and smashed 74 runs in 6.2 overs. Smith was not out on 61 from 43. Watson 44 from 21.
Aussie captain Smith smashed eight fours in his knock while Watson smoked four fours and three sixes in his quick-fire innings.
For Pakistan, Imad Wasim and Wahab Riaz took two wickets in their spells. Sami was spanked for 53 in 4 while Amir was punished for 39 in his four overs by the Aussie batters.
After a breezy fourth wicket partnership of 62, Imad Wasim rocked Australia with his second wicket in the 14th over.
Imad send back the dangerous Maxwell after the Aussie batter smashed 30 from 18 balls. Maxwell carted three fours and a six in his cameo.
Imad Wasim struck in his first over when his arm ball had beaten Aaron Finch all ends up. The ball rushed on off the pitch, snaked in, kept low and pegged back middle.
Finch couldn’t really get going, but managed to score 15 from 16 balls.
Pakistan got their second breakthrough in the sixth over when Wahab Riaz struck again with searing pace and knocked back David Warner’s stumps. 148.1ks cracker!
Shortish from Wahab and ducks back in, Warner, who had aimed to make room and opened up the off side, is caught in an awkward tangle. Wahab KO's Warner, the batsmen left after scoring nine runs with two fours to his name.
Australia lost their first wicket in the fourth over after a solid opening stand. Wahab’s full and swinging missile was too good for Usman Khwaja. The left arm pacer pinged the middle stump!
Aussie opener looked good in his 21 runs from 16 balls, and struck three fours and a six.
Australia opener Usman Khwaja gave his side a solid start with 21runs on the board after three overs against Pakistan led by Shahid Afridi in the Super Ten match of ICC WT20 2016 at Mohali.
Since Australia's halting victory over Bangladesh in Bangalore, two subsequent Group 2 matches have provided considerable clarity to this match. New Zealand's defeat of Pakistan, followed by India's last over escape against Mashrafe Mortaza's team means that Pakistan are still in slim contention for the title - it all comes down to net run-rates.
Should Pakistan win in Mohali, they will need Australia to defeat India in the final match of the qualifying rounds and trust that their own net run-rate - currently far superior to both India and Australia - will be enough to squeeze them into second spot behind New Zealand.
However, an Australian win would knock Pakistan out and set up a virtual quarter-final against India. These scenarios mean that the margin of victory in Mohali may turn out to be as significant as the result itself.
Despite the solid platforms, Australia's vaunted batting has struggled, capitulating against New Zealand and nearly succumbing to Bangladesh in their second match.
Pakistan, meanwhile, have been subjected to ridicule after successive losses to India and New Zealand. Some of Shahid Afridi's more outspoken comments have also got him into trouble, and injuries to Mohammad Hafeez and Wahab Riaz have robbed him of his best line-up.
All this adds up to a scenario of some chaos, invariably the position from which Pakistan tend to summon something extraordinary.
Sharjeel Khan, Ahmed Shehzad, Khalid Latif, Umar Akmal, Shahid Afridi(c), Shoaib Malik, Sarfraz Ahmed(w), Imad Wasim, Wahab Riaz, Mohammad Sami and Mohammad Amir
Usman Khawaja, Aaron Finch, Shane Watson, Steven Smith(c), David Warner, Glenn Maxwell, James Faulkner, Peter Nevill(w), Nathan Coulter-Nile, Adam Zampa and Josh Hazlewood