Match-Winner Wade was 'Unsure' Australia Could Win Before Heroics

Match-Winner Wade was 'Unsure' Australia Could Win Before Heroics Photo: TT
Australia's Marcus Stoinis, holding helmet, and Matthew Wade celebrate after winning the Cricket Twenty20 World Cup semi-final match between Pakistan and Australia in Dubai

Matthew Wade admits he arrived at the crease unsure if Australia would chase down Pakistan’s total before his heroics booked his side a spot in the T20 World Cup final against New Zealand.

Australia won by five wickets over Pakistan in Dubai on Thursday, successfully chasing down 176-4 after winning the toss and sending Babar Azam’s side in to bat.

The Aussies appeared off the pace in their pursuit following the loss of Glenn Maxwell, slumping to 96-5 in the 13th over, before Wade (41no from 17 balls) and Marcus Stoinis (40no from 31) combined for match-winning 81-run stand.

Australia required 62 runs from 30 balls, but won with six deliveries to spare as Wade clubbed Shaheen Shah Afridi for three successive sixes to clinch victory.

“When I got out there with Marcus, he was really confident we’d get them, even though I was a little unsure,” Player of the Match Wade said after the game.

“He found the boundaries early on, and I was happy to chip in at the end. It got down to two a ball, and from there it was if you got one in your arc, just try to hit it.”

Wade finished with four sixes and two fours and added: “Talking to Marcus Stoinis at the other end, we discussed what the bowlers were looking to do. (Shaheen) probably bowled more pace-on than I expected.”

The result was heartbreaking for Pakistan, who were T20 World Cup winners in 2009 and runners-up in 2007.

Babar (39 from 34) combined with Mohammad Rizwan (67 from 52) to give Pakistan an excellent platform, before Fakhar Zaman’s late cameo of 55no from 32 deliveries.

Afridi dismissed Aaron Finch for a golden duck, while Shadab Khan took four wickets to decimate the Australians before Wade and Stoinis’ heroics.

“The way we started in the first half, we got the total we targeted. But we gave them too much of a chance at the end of the chase,” Babar said.

Wade was dropped in the deep by Hassan Ali the ball before he hit the first of his three straight sixes to win the match.

“If we had taken that catch, it might have made the difference,” Babar said. “But the way we played this tournament, the way we gelled, I’m very satisfied as a captain. I hope we try and learn from our mistakes after this.”

Ben somerford
Sports Pundit staff writer @bensomerford
Australian journalist who specialises on all sports, focusing on football, tennis, basketball and racing, having written for global publications including FourFourTwo, AAP, Inside Futbol and many more....

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