Matthew Wade hit three sixes off the last three balls of the 19th over bowled by the otherwise excellent Shaheen Shah Afridi to carry Australia to the final of the ICC T20 World Cup for the first time since 2010, beating Pakistan by five wickets in a nailbiting second semifinal Thursday in Dubai.
Australia will now take on New Zealand in the final on November 14 at the same venue. Neither team has won the World Cup in cricket's shortest version before, and although they faced each other in the final of the 2015 ODI World Cup, this will be the first World Cup final between the two neighbours parted by the Tasman Sea - a Transtasman final.
Right before the final blow, Wade got a life due to Hassan Ali’s sloppy fielding at the deep. Australia needed 18 runs of nine balls when Wade decided to take it to Afridi.
Australia needed 22 in the last 12 overs. Riding on Wade’s mighty hitting, they scored these runs with six balls to play. And thus, Australia ended the superb run of Pakistan in this World Cup.
Afridi had been bowling like a dream throughout the tournament, and he got the early breakthrough with the new ball on this night too. But coming into the second last over of the second semifinal, he delivered his worst over of the event.
Australia won the toss in this match and sent Pakistan bat first. Who posted 176 for four in 20 overs.
In reply, Australia lost the first wicket in the first over of the innings when Afridi removed Australian captain Aaron Finch for a golden duck. But the Aussies managed to control the early damage carefully.
In the second wicket stand, David Warner and Mitchell Marsh added 51 runs off 36 balls which has set the foundation for them.