Australia send Pakistan packing out of ICC World Twenty20

first_imgAustralia eliminated 2009 champions Pakistan in a 21-run group-stage win on Friday and kept alive its own hopes of a first World Twenty20 title.Captain Steven Smith smashed seven fours in an unbeaten 61 off 43 balls to help post an imposing 193-4 after electing to bat in the Group 2 game. Pakistan could manage only 172-8 in reply, undone by James Faulkner’s 5-27. (Pak vs Aus: As it happened) With New Zealand already assured of a semifinal berth from the group with three straight wins, Australia’s next game against India here on Sunday has become a virtual quarterfinal with the winner advancing to the last four. Pakistan needed to win on Friday to remain in contention but fell to a third straight loss and goes home.Smith, who scored only 28 runs in five previous T20s against Pakistan, bound the Australia innings together with two useful partnerships.He added 62 runs for the fourth wicket with Glenn Maxwell (30 off 18) and then 74 for the unbroken fifth-wicket with Shane Watson (44 not out off 21).Smith and Watson helped Australia score 58 runs in the last four overs to swell the total beyond Pakistan’s comfort.Smith batted himself in and then dominated the bowling by often taking guard outside the off stump and exposing his stumps to unsettle the bowlers.He took control in the middle overs as Australia reached the 100-run mark in 12.1 overs, and the 150-run mark in 16.6.Maxwell struck three fours and one six before holing out to long on off left-arm spinner Imad Wasim, while Watson, a day after announcing this tournament is his international swansong, smashed four fours and three sixes.advertisementFor Pakistan, left-arm pace bowler Wahab Riaz dismissed openers Usman Khawaja (21) and David Warner (9) to finish with 2-35, while Wasim took 2-31.”We gave away too many runs in the end overs,” Pakistan coach Waqar Younis said. “Every time we got a wicket we gave away easy boundaries to ease the pressure on them.”Pakistan’s batsmen failed to capitalize on good starts and the asking rate kept increasing.Opener Sharjeel Khan made a 19-ball 30 with six fours, and Umar Akmal 32 off 20 with three fours and a six, while Shoaib Malik remained not out on 40.Sharjeel was dismissed by Faulkner, who came on later for two double strikes in successive overs during mounting pressure for Pakistan.He took four wickets in the space of six deliveries spread over two overs as the Pakistan batsmen desperately tried big shots.”I was lucky there at the end,” said Faulkner, who became the first Australian to take a five-for in T20s. “More importantly, we are back on track. We have played well all summer back home. We showed what we can do with the bat. I’m looking forward to the next game against India. They are tough opponents but we should be up for the challenge.”last_img

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