World Twenty20: Pakistan thrash Australia to enter semi-finals

first_imgPakistan’s strategy of stocking their side with spinners finally paid rich dividends as their 32-run victory over Australia, in conjunction with India’s ouster, helped them keep their record of making the semi-finals of every World Twenty20.In response to Pakistan’s 149 for six on a slow track at the R Premadasa Stadium here on Tuesday, Australia posted 117 for seven, which was just five runs more than what they needed to seal their own final-four spot.The star of the show was 20-yearold left-arm spinner Raza Hasan, who once again opened the bowling. His unerring accuracy was rewarded with perhaps the biggest scalp of the tournament the in-form Shane Watson (8).Captain Mohammad Hafeez then got David Warner, lbw, and Australia never recovered from their five-over score of 19 for two. Hafeez didn’t deploy a single over of pace till the 18th, and the Aussies seemed unable to get the ball off the square, thanks to the accuracy and skill of the bowlers and some uncharacteristically excellent fielding.A 10-over score of 45 for three didn’t inspire any confidence, and once the big-hitting Cameron White was caught off Hafeez and Glenn Maxwell became Hasan’s second victim, the Aussies decided to pull the shutters down and aim for the 112-run ‘safety’ target.Even then, it took a herculean effort from Hussey to get them close, as he struck a six and three boundaries to take them past the 100-run mark.Earlier, Nasir Jamshed’s half-century and his 79-run stand for the third wicket with Kamran Akmal had brought Pakistan out of an early stutter.In the Powerplay, they had lost Hafeez and Imran Nazir with just 29 on the board, but Jamshed and the older Akmal played sensible cricket to get them back on their feet.A boundary each from the batsmen off Brad Hogg finally gave the innings some momentum in the 10th over, before Jamshed exploded with a six each off Pat Cummins and Xavier Doherty.advertisementlast_img

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