Australia returned from the sidelines to beat Pakistan by five wickets in another men’s T20 World Cup semi-final.
With 20 requests in the last 10 balls, Hassan Ali released Matthew Wade before hitting the next three deliveries for six to complete an overwhelmingly popular 177 runs in Dubai.
Australia struggled at 96-5, despite David Warner’s 49 hours, before Wade and Marcus Stoinis’ booth finished.
Wade broke 41 unbeaten on just 17 balls and Stunish finished 40 on 31, his brilliant 81 positions in 6.4 brought the Aussie home with a backup crowd and the silence that largely supported Pakistan.
It was the second thrilling final within 24 hours of New Zealand’s dramatic victory over England in Wednesday’s semi-final.
Australia and New Zealand, neither of which have won the T20 World Cup, will meet in the final in Dubai on Sunday at 14:00 GMT.
Australia leaves late to seal a famous victory
Pakistan was the favorite and Australia needed 62 of the last five points and 37 of the three finals.
Wade met with Hassan for six days to give them renewed hope, before taking Shaheen Afridi, Pakistan’s best bowler, into a line that will live long in the memory of Australian fans, even as Hassan refused a harsh chance and moved into the middle of the world wicket with Wade on 21.
“I never thought the game was in the bag,” said Australian captain Aaron Finch.
“The way Matthew Wade kept his nerve, in the end, was incredible. The partnership with Marcus Stoinis was crucial. It was a great cricket match.”
From “canceled” to World Cup finalists
Few would have expected Australia, having entered this tournament after losing their last five T20 leagues and beating Bangladesh 62 in August, to reach the final.
They lost Finch to a duck in the first place, saw Mitchell Marsh and Steve Smith fall into Shadab Khan, and luck seemed to be against them when Warner was brought out trapped behind despite the rebounds implying he hadn’t touched the ball.
Stoinis overcame his one-round fight to finish Shadab, the leg spinner, who finished 4-26, and he and Wade were willing to take a quick single until he released his arms late.
Below Pakistan assisted them. Hassan had a terrible day with the ball – he finished 0-44 from four points – but it was his fall to recover Wade that turned him around.
It was a big win for the Australians who were eliminated, as Finch said, before the tournament.
Rizwan slips after two nights in intensive care
Pakistan’s 176-4 was caught around Mohammad Rizwan’s 52-ball 67 and a late burst from Fakhar Zaman, who made 55 out of 32 deliveries.
Rizwan produced an excellent bowel, which was even more remarkable because he spent two nights in the ICU with a “severe” chest infection.
“He made an incredible recovery and was found to be fit before the game,” said team doctor Najeeb Samaroo.
“We can see his great determination and tenacity showing his spirit in acting for the country. And we can see how he performed today.”
Rizwan started to scare and Warner and Adam Zampa abandoned him on the 20th.
A grilled hit of his helmet seemed to ignite his guts. After receiving physical healing and having a visible mark on his face, Rizwan turned his first six years before moving on to the third half of the tournament.
He took advantage of it when Josh Hazlewood and Pat Cummins lost their line, the highlight that long attracted a whip.
After Rizwan fooled Mitchell Starc in midfield, Fakhar sent two sixes of the last three belly balls.
He felt their contributions had led Pakistan to total victory, right up to Wade’s intervention.