Australia knocks out Pakistan from the ICC World T20 keeping their dreams to enter the semi-final alive. While Pakistan could dismiss three of the Australias dangerous batsmen early, they couldnt keep up their good work in the latter stages of the match which lead them to face a 21 run defeat. Steven Smith once again showed his class with an adept and ingenious performance. The fireworks from Glenn Maxwell and Shane Watson with a phenomenal strike rate have taken the score to a new level.
In order for Pakistan to even have an outside chance of joining New Zealand in the semi-finals, they needed to score their highest total batting second. And the way their batting had fared in the previous two matches, it was always going to be a tough ask. Pakistan, chasing 194, got off to a brisk start but kept losing wickets at regular intervals. There was a partnership developing between Umar Akmal and Khalid Latif but the former’s departure, and another Shahid Afridi failure with the bat, put Pakistan on the mat in the stiff chase. They got close at one stage, but just werent close enough. Sharjeel, much like the way he did against New Zealand, got going with a three-boundary over off Nathan Coulter-Nile, but the support he needed from his opening partner didnt arrive. Ahmed Shehzad fell early once again, top-edging a pull off Hazlewood. Sharjeel though, continued picked up a few quick boundaries, but the asking-rate kept climbing.
The Aussies were brilliant in the field unlike the Pakistanis. Pakistan were in need of something that hadnt come to their rescue till now: a contribution from the middle order. Though Shoaib Malik scored a good 40 off 20 balls there was no support offered to him. Faulkner and Watson came back strongly in their second spell and a brilliant spell of death bowling unfolded. The difference proved to be the last five overs. While Australia hammered 66, Pakistan were tied down to just 47 courtesy some great bowling from James Faulkner, finishing with five for 27 and in particular Shane Watson, who had chipped in with a useful 40 with the bat.
With Pakistan exit from the tournament, the last Group 2 match between India and Australia will decide which team will join New Zealand in the semi-finals from the group. Both India and Australia have four points with two victories in three matches, making the Sunday encounter in Mohali a virtual knock-out.