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Cricket

T20 World Cup: Matthew Wade crushes Pakistan's hopes, sends Australia to the final

Matthew Wade stole the show with his match-winning knock

Matthew Wade sends Australia to the final of the T20 World Cup! [Source: ICC]
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Matthew Wade sends Australia to the final of the T20 World Cup! [Source: ICC]

By

Anjishnu Roy

Published: 11 Nov 2021 6:24 PM GMT

In a blockbuster display of brute power-hitting, Matthew Wade stole the show and stamped his authority in the second semi-final of the ICC T20 World Cup. The southpaw smacked 41 off only 17 deliveries to seal the game for Australia who needed 61 off the last five overs to win the game.

Pakistan have played some jaw-dropping cricket throughout the World Cup and tonight was no different. Being asked to bat first, they got a pretty solid start from captain Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan. Rizwan went on to score a half-century. Following their dismissals, Fakhar Zaman took charge of the innings and played some magnificent shots at a strike rate of 171.88 to take Pakistan to a more than respectable total of 176.

Shaheen Afridi, who has struck like lightning in the very first over of the innings throughout the World Cup stayed true to that theme and left Australian skipper Aaron Finch undone. For a long while, David Warner proved to be the only batter capable of dealing with the Pakistan offensive launched by Shadab Khan who finished the game with four wickets.

Australian hearts sunk when Warner was given caught behind and instead of reviewing the decision, he decided to walk off the field. Replays in the aftermath clearly showed a big gap between the bat and ball and Warner must've felt stupid after reaching the dugout.

For a good time, the Australian innings was going nowhere until Matthew Wade decided to show his face in the final few overs of the game. Usually an opener, Wade led an assault on the Pakistan bowlers in the same manner as Jimmy Neesham took the England bowlers to the cleaners last night.

Needing 22 runs off the final two overs, Wade was up against Shaheen Afridi who had been the wrecker-in-chief with pace for Pakistan in the tournament. Lightning seemed to have struck twice when Wade lifted one towards deep mid-wicket but didn't get enough meat on the ball. Hasan Ali galloped several yards to meet the ball only to end up dropping the catch and along with it, the match.

The Dubai International Stadium packed with Pakistan fans fell pin-drop silent and Shaheen struggled to believe it.

Matthew Wade's paddle scoops against Shaheen Afridi were some of the best shots played in the World Cup [Source: ICC]

Having been granted a new life, Matthew Wade punished Afridi with utmost disdain. A paddle scoop for a six in behind, a gigantic shot over mid-wicket, and another paddle scoop to greet Shaheen's full toss to send it for a match-winning six in behind. Three balls, 18 runs, merciless from Matthew Wade, sympathy for Hasan Ali but that's cricket.

This means that the final to be played between Australia and New Zealand will be a replay of the 2015 World Cup Final. It also means that in a couple of days, we will have a new T20 World Champion!

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