India, Pakistan, England, West Indies, South Africa, West Indies…
Those are the winners of the men’s T20 World Cup to date. We’ll have a new champion on Sunday, either Australia or New Zealand. Thanks for your company and emails throughout an immense game of cricket – congratulations to Australia, commiserations to Pakistan. Goodnight!
And here’s Aaron Finch
“It was a great game of cricket. The way Matty Wade and Marcus Stoinis held their nerve was unbelievable. I thought we were pretty sloppy in the field today – we dropped a couple of difficult chances – but we played some really good cricket towards the end.
“Teams batting second have been so successful in this tournament. It’s really strange because there’s no dew but the lights take effect and speed up the wicket a little bit. The slower balls don’t grip as well. It was a nice toss to win. I was actually hoping I’d lose the toss and bat first, because I thought it would be nice to put a total on the board in a semi-final! But it’s great to chase it down, it was brilliant at the end.”
The thoughts of a disconsolate Babar Azam
“We were satisfied with how many runs we got, but at the back end of their innings they were too good. The margins are fine and the dropped catch affected the game. But overall I’m happy with how we played in the tournament. It’s very exciting for the future.”
That runchase was so similar to New Zealand’s yesterday. The result was identical, a victory by five wickets with six balls to spare. Pakistan have their what-ifs, just like England. Had Hassan Ali caught Matthew Wade in the penultimate over, Australia would have needed 20 from nine balls with only four wickets remaining. Instead it was 18 from nine, and Wade got them in three balls.
While we try to make sense of all that, here’s the latest in the Yorkshire scandal
The player of the match is Matthew Wade
“I was glad to get those two ramp shots out of the middle. They went pace-on a bit more than I expected, that’s why I premeditated the ramps. Marcus was really confident we’d get home – I was a bit unsure because the rate was getting up a little bit, but he reassured me that he’d take it deep and hopefully I could chip in at the end there.
“It hasn’t really sunk in yet. When I sit down tonight it’ll probably sink in. I’m just happy I could contribute – I was out of the team for a while and then I got back in, so I’m just happy I could repay the faith a bit.”
By any standards, that was a spectacular game of T20 cricket
Stoinis, whose Zen-like innings shouldn’t be forgotten, finished with 40 not out from 31 balls. But Matthew Wade – belittled so often in this format, in every format – grabbed the bulk of the glory with an extraordinary 41 not out from 17 balls. It means that, for all the formidable brilliance of England and especially Pakistan in the group stages, it will be Australia v New Zealand in the final.
AUSTRALIA WIN BY FIVE WICKETS!
19 overs: Australia 177-5 (Stoinis 40, Wade 41) The last ball was another outrageous ramp stroke, taken on the full and pinged over the keeper’s head for six. Shaheen Afridi’s first over was one for the ages, but so, alas, was his last: it went for 22 runs and will go down in Australian cricket folklore just like Saeed Anwar’s over to Michael Hussey in the 2010 semi-final.
AUSTRALIA ARE IN THE WORLD CUP FINAL!
Matthew Wade complete an epic victory with three successive sixes!
18.5 overs: Australia 171-5 (need 6 from 7 balls) He’s done it again! Wade smacks Afridi high over square leg for another six! This is an homage to Mike Hussey in 2010 – he has made 35 not out from only 16 balls.
18.4 overs: Australia 165-5 (need 12 from 8 balls) Wade jumps across his stumps to ramp Afridi for six! That’s an outrageous shot, which takes Australia to the cusp of the World Cup final!
18.3 overs: Australia 159-5 (need 18 from 9 balls) Wade is dropped by Hassan Ali! It was a tricky running chance at deep midwicket, but at this level you’d expect it to be taken seven times out of 10. To compound Pakistan’s misery, Wade comes back for a second.
18.2 overs: Australia 156-5 (need 20 from 10 balls) A leg-side wide! He went for the yorker but overreached and speared it past leg stump.
STOINIS IS NOT OUT!
18.2 overs: Australia 156-5 (need 21 from 10 balls) Yep, it pitched outside leg. Just a leg bye to Australia.
PAKISTAN REVIEW FOR LBW AGAINST STOINIS! They have two left so it’s a tactical review – I’m pretty sure they know it pitched outside leg. Stoinis ran through for a leg bye.
18.1 overs: Australia 155-5 (need 22 from 11 balls) A dot ball! Stoinis bottom-edges a pull this far short of Rizwan, who immediately singles that it didn’t carry. As if you couldn’t love Rizwan any more.
18th over: Australia 155-5 (need 22 from 12 balls; Stoinis 40, Wade 21) Hasan Ali’s last ball is worked behind square for four by Wade, another terrific shot. Pakistan urgently need a wicket.
17.3 overs: Australia 149-5 (need 28 from 15 balls) Hassan Ali starts his final over. Stoinis can only take a single off the first ball, with Hassan Ali deliberately/accidentally getting in his way. Wade whips two off the second – and then clubs a slower ball into the crowd! With 15 balls remaining, Australia are favourites.
17th over: Australia 140-5 (target 177; Stoinis 38, Wade 8) Stoinis blasts Rauf’s penultimate over for 13, including a sweet pulled six over midwicket and a vicious hit down the ground for four. Sheesh, this is exquisitely tense. Australia are slight favourites, I think.
I think Hasan Ali was sick at the end of that over. He still has one over left, at least in theory, and he’s staying on the field.
16th over: Australia 127-5 (target 177; Stoinis 25, Wade 8) Hassan Ali’s third over goes for 12 – but it could have been a lot worse for Pakistan. He started with a slower ball that Stoinis picked and clouted for four, and followed that with a no-ball. After that he was able to pull the over back with a mixture of yorkers and slower balls. Australia need 50 from 24 balls. They need a Neesham, they’re holding out for a Neesham till the end of the night.
15th over: Australia 115-5 (target 177; Stoinis 15, Wade 6) Pakistan miss a third run-out chance. This time it was the new bowler Shaheen Afridi in his follow through, with Stoinis well short of the stumps at the non-striker’s end. Stoinis has another escape when a leading edge loops tantalisingly past Hafeez at backward point. Six runs from the over, another very good one for Pakistan. Australia have scored 26 runs from five overs since the drinks break; they need 62 off the final five overs to win.
14th over: Australia 109-5 (target 177; Stoinis 11, Wade 5) Pakistan miss another run-out chance! Wade, sent back by Stoinis, was well short and had given up when Shadab’s throw missed the stumps.
Haris Rauf is back on, I should have said that earlier, and finds the edge of the new batter Matthew Wade. It drops short of Rizwan, who does well to save the boundary. Wade gets off the mark next ball, clubbing Rauf down the ground for a one-bounce four, and then mistimes a pull that drops short of long-on. All told that’s a fine over from Rauf, with only six from it.
13th over: Australia 103-5 (target 177; Stoinis 11, Wade 0) Just in case anyone needed reminding that Australia are still in this.Stoinis lifts Shadab over wide mid-on for six. As for Maxwell’s dismissal, Haris Rauf’s catch looks better with every replay. He almost ran past the ball, then slipped slightly, but was still able to change direction and take the catch. Shadab finishes a gamechanging spell with figures of 4-0-26-4. Australia need 74 from 42 balls.
WICKET! Australia 96-5 (Maxwell c Rauf b Shadab 7)
Shadab takes his fourth wicket! Maxwell heaved a reverse sweep towards deep point, where Haris Rauf swooped to his right to take a beautiful two-handed catch. Aggressive wristspin in the middle overs has always been one of Pakistan’s trump cards in white-ball cricket, but rarely has it been as effective as this. Shadab has taken a wicket in every over!
12th over: Australia 95-4 (target 177; Maxwell 7, Stoinis 3) With Warner gone and two right-handers at the crease, it’s safe for Imad Wasim to come back into the attack. He starts with three dot balls to Stoinis, who forces the fourth for a single. A gloved reverse sweep brings Maxwell two more, but overall that’s a great over for Pakistan. Australia need 82 from 48 balls.
“I think,” says Simon McMahon, “that Warner was given out for his moustache.”
11th over: Australia 92-4 (target 177; Maxwell 5, Stoinis 2) Just three singles and the wicket from Shadab, who has great figures of 3-0-18-3. I’m still trying to make sense of that Warner wicket. There was a noise but all the evidence suggests he didn’t nick it. Maybe it was a rogue aglet.
The plot thickens – there was nothing on UltraEdge for Warner’s dismissal, and it looks like there is daylight between bat and ball. Warner didn’t review it, didn’t even discuss a review, and Pakistan were also certain he edged it. That is so strange.
WICKET! Australia 89-4 (Warner c Rizwan b Shadab 49)
Pivotal moment my foot: Warner has gone next ball! He flashed outside off stump at Shadab and got a thin edge that was gleefully taken by Rizwan. That’s Shadab’s third wicket and a huge one for Pakistan, because Warner was playing magnificently.
10th over: Australia 89-3 (target 177; Warner 49, Maxwell 4) Hassan Ali returns to the attack. Warner helps his first ball over short fine leg for four, another marvellous stroke, and then survives a big run-out chance. Maxwell called him through for a crazy single on the off side, and Warner was barely in the frame when Fakhar Zaman’s throw missed the stumps. With the form Warner’s in, that feels like a pivotal moment.
9th over: Australia 80-3 (target 177; Warner 43, Maxwell 1) Glenn Maxwell is the new batter. This is the game, right here. Australia need 97 from 66 balls.
WICKET! Australia 77-3 (Smith c Zaman b Shadab 5)
Another slog-sweep off Shadab, another top-edge, another wicket. Smith swished his bat in disgust as soon as he made contact, a couple of seconds before Fakhar Zaman calmly took the catch at deep midwicket. Australia are three down – but crucially they still have Warner, who is in glorious touch and drove Shadab for a straight six earlier in the over.
8th over: Australia 70-2 (target 177; Warner 34, Smith 5) The offspinner Mohammad Hafeez comes into the attack, and starts his spell with a hideous delivery. It slips out of his hands, bounces twice and is butchered over midwicket for six by Warner. It’s also a no-ball, because it bounced twice, and Warner gets two more off the free hit. A wide and a handful of singles complete an excellent over for Australia – 13 from it.
Allan Border will have loved that six by Warner. He did the same to Phil Simmons (I think) in a Test match.
7th over: Australia 57-2 (target 177; Warner 24, Smith 4) Steve Smith is the new batter. He almost becomes the old one when he edges his second ball from Shadab, but it flashes past the keeper Rizwan and goes for four runs.
WICKET! Australia 52-2 (Marsh c Asif Ali b Shadab 28)
Mitch Marsh has a poor record against legspin – and it has taken Shadab Khan just two balls to dismiss him! Marsh top-edged a slog-sweep towards deep square leg, where Asif Ali held his nerve to take a very awkward catch with both hands. Marsh goes for a useful 28 from 22 balls.
6th over: Australia 52-1 (target 177; Warner 23, Marsh 28) Hassan Ali comes on for the last over of the Powerplay. The second ball is a filthy half-tracker which Marsh swivel-pulls for four. After a torrid start to the innings, he has sped to 28 from 20 balls. And it’s been a really good Powerplay for Australia, who are ahead both on the comparison and win predictor. They need 125 from 84 balls.
5th over: Australia 44-1 (target 177; Warner 21, Marsh 22) Haris Rauf replaces Shaheen Afridi. His first ball is pulled flat and hard for six by Marsh, a cracking stroke, and the next flies off the edge for four. The mood of the match has changed dramatically in the last 10 minutes, and the Pakistan captain Babar Azam looks rattled. Four singles make it 14 from the over and 30 from the last 11 deliveries. So much for a cautious Powerplay.
4th over: Australia 30-1 (target 177; Warner 19, Marsh 10) Warner has a great record against Imad Wasim, and it just got a bit better. He spanks Imad for 14 in three balls – a mighty slog-sweep for six, a light-footed thump through the covers and a muscular scoop/pull to fine leg. That’s a very good for Australia, 20 from it.
We’ve just seen a replay of Finch’s LBW, and it wasn’t as plumb as I thought. It was still out, but it was umpire’s call on impact with the stumps.
3rd over: Australia 13-1 (target 177; Warner 4, Marsh 8) Warner crunches Afridi for a single. It’s a no-ball, which means a free hit for Marsh. Or, rather, a free miss: he can’t lay bat on a lovely slower bouncer. Marsh gets hold of the next ball, however, driving handsomely through extra cover for four. That’s a great shot.
An inside-edge flies just past leg stump, with Haris Rauf doing well to save the boundary, and then Marsh takes a risky single on the off side. Another pulsating over ends with a sizzling yorker that Warner digs out. This is terrific stuff.
2nd over: Australia 6-1 (target 177; Warner 3, Marsh 3) And now for something completely different. The slow left-armer Imad Wasim starts around the wicket to Warner, who works a single. That’s the first of five runs from the over, three singles and a two. I wonder if, with the dew and the threat of Afridi in mind, Australia might be relatively cautious in the Powerplay.
1st over: Australia 1-1 (Warner 1, Marsh 0) The next ball is a huge inswinger that beats Marsh on the inside. An awesome over from Afridi, one for the books, ends with Australia happy to be only one wicket down.
MARSH IS NOT OUT!
I don’t believe it! The impact was umpire’s call, and Marsh survives. I think that’s a poor decision from Chris Gaffaney, in truth, but on we go.
It was a blistering inswinging yorker from Afridi which hit Marsh on the boot. Pakistan couldn’t believe it was given not out, and in the chaos Marsh was almost run out as well. It looked plumb LBW.
PAKISTAN REVIEW FOR LBW AGAINST MARSH! I think this is another golden duck!
WICKET! Australia 1-1 (Finch LBW b Afridi 0)
Shaheen Afridi is a superstar! He has pinned Aaron Finch LBW for a golden duck with a classic inswinger. It was as plumb as plumb will ever be, and Finch walked straight off the field without even considering a review. As in the 2019 World Cup, he has gone first ball.
“I don’t back Australia’s chances of chasing 177 tonight, although I am hoping,” says Laura Daw. “What’s their largest total of the world cup?”
I think it’s 161/2 against West Indies, though they had 22 balls to spare.
What do you reckon, then? I’d make Pakistan slight favourites, even with the dew, but it’s so hard to call.
Time for a very quick coffee run before the chase begins. Here’s a freshly baked piece for you to read during the break.
Australia need 177 to reach the final!
20th over: Pakistan 176-4 (Zaman 55, Hafeez 1) Fakhar Zaman finishes the innings in style! He smokes Starc for two humongous sixes to bring up a savage 31-ball fifty, and then mows the last delivery of the innings for a single. That takes Fakhar to 55 not out from 32 balls, including 38 off the last 15. The last four overs went for 54.
WICKET! Pakistan 162-4 (Malik b Starc 1)
Malik misses, Starc hits. Four balls remaining.
19th over: Pakistan 161-3 (Zaman 41, Malik 1) Fakhar Zaman is dropped at long off by Smith! It should have been two wickets in two balls for Cummins. The batters crossed, which meant Zaman was on strike when Shoaib Malik walked to the crease. He blasted another slower ball (I think) towards long off, where Smith dropped a relatively straightforward low chance.
No matter – Cummins’s last over is quite brilliant, with only two runs and a leg-bye from it. And even the leg-bye came when he pinned Zaman in the grille with a bouncer. Cummins finishes with figures of 4-0-30-1.
“Regarding your comment on Darren Stevens (16th over) I feel you’ve done your esteemed colleague Jonathan Lew a disservice by not linking his wonderful article on the subject,” says Matthew Dunnill. “Do our man Joe Meade a favour and pop this link up – just so he knows what’s on offer!”
‘What’s on offer’ – you make Darren Stevens sound like a kooky backstreet deli.
WICKET! Pakistan 158-3 (Asif Ali c Smith b Cummins 0)
Asif Ali goes for a golden duck. He cuffed a slower ball from Cummins straight to long on, where Smith took an easy catch. As golden ducks go, that was pretty noble – no messing, just straight into six-hitting mode.
18th over: Pakistan 158-2 (Zaman 40, Ali 0) Asif Ali is the new batter. Before he can take strike, Zaman blasts Starc for a monstrous straight six. After a slow start, he is hitting the ball savagely. An attempted yorker from Starc is smeared whence it came for four, with the umpire Chris Gaffaney hitting the deck in self-preservation.
Starc, suddenly rattled, bowls a leg-side wide, and Zaman digs out a yorker for two off the final ball. For the most part, that was a textbook death over from Starc, and it cost 15.