Mohammad Rizwan and Fakhar Zaman smashed breezy half-centuries to help Pakistan post 176-4 at the Dubai International Stadium.
Put in to bat, Pakistan got off to a strong start with Rizwan (67) and skipper Babar Azam (39) forging a 71-run partnership for the opening wicket. Fakhar provided the late charge for the 2009 champions with an unbeaten 55 off 32 balls.
Set 177 for victory, David Warner made 49 before Australia rode unbeaten cameos from Marcus Stoinis (40*) and Matthew Wade (41*) to clinch the win with one over to spare.
They will now play rivals New Zealand in Sunday’s final after they beat England on Wednesday.
Australia vs New Zealand in the final!
Plenty of twists and turns across two enthralling semi-finals, but it will be two familiar foes who will do battle for the chance to lift the T20 World Cup for the very first time. Australia vs New Zealand - few would have called that at the start of the tournament!
It is time to say farewell to Pakistan, who have so enlivened and enriched this tournament, but fall short in their first knockout game. Babar Azam’s side will reflect on an opportunity missed.
For now, it is also farewell from us. We’ll have plenty of reaction and fallout from the two semi-finals over the next couple of days, and LIVE coverage of Sunday’s final in Dubai for an antipodean clash to decide The Big Dance™, as they will surely be calling it.
Until then, do stay safe and well, and thank you for joining The Independent...
Actually, before we go, we’ve got some BREAKING NEWS: Devon Conway is out of the final after breaking his hand! New Zealand lose their wicketkeeper and a key left-handed middle order foil. How does that change things?
Aaron Finch speaks to the host broadcaster
“It was a great game of cricket,” says Finch of his side’s win. “The way Matthew Wade held his nerve was outstanding, that partnership with Marcus Stoinis was crucial.
I just got my feet in a tangle first up. It happens, in T20 cricket you get some good ones every now and then. I thought we were pretty sloppy today, we dropped a couple, though they were tough ones. But what we showed today was that you need all your players, everyone in your 15 to contribute.
[On chasing teams winning so many games]: “It’s really strange. There’s no dew, but the lights take effect and the wicket speeds up a bit. I was hoping to lose the toss and put a total on the board and defend it, but it was good to chase that target down in the end.”
Hasan Ali’s drop
Australia may well have gone on to knock off the runs that remained in the last over but how crucial does that drop from Hasan Ali now look? His fumbling of Wade was followed by three match-sealing sixes and having also suffered a tough night with the ball, it will be a performance that will take some personal reconciling for a player evidently struggling with illness or fatigue.
Australia’s new-look lower-order does the job
That was quite something from Matthew Wade and Marcus Stoinis. They are out of position in this side, starts in the Big Bash opening the batting but forced to bat further down in this side, Australia accommodating their skills in the hope that they would come good in this tournament.
And, boy, how good was that? Australia’s makeshift finishers have done the job, taking their team home having looked close to dead and buried after the quick-fire losses of David Warner and Glenn Maxwell.
Matthew Wade is the Player of the Match for his brilliant blitz
“Talking to Marcus down the other end, they went a little bit more pace on than I expected. I was glad to get a couple away at the end.
“We lost a few quick wickets but when I got out there with Marcus, he was really confident that we would get them. He reassured me that he would find the boundary enough to get us deep and then I could chip in at the end there. There was one short side so I was confident that I could drag them for six.
“It stalled for about five or six balls and the rate went from 10 to 12 to 14 really quickly. Luckily I had Stoin out there. It probably hasn’t sunk in. I’m just happy I could contribute. I was out of the team two or three years ago and I have managed to get another opportunity. I am happy to have repaid the faith a bit.”
Pakistan are out
It is cruel on Shadab Khan, so brilliant with four for 26, and that ending rather spoils a tournament that looked set to be defined by Shaheen Shah Afridi’s new-ball mastery.
But for the second night in a row, a late display of power-hitting takes the chasing side home.
Australia through to the final!
Pakistan’s players drop to their knees - they are out! The T20 World Cup will have a new name on the trophy - Australia and New Zealand will reignite Trans-Trasman hostilities in the final in Dubai on Sunday!
Australia win by five wickets with six balls to spare!
MATTHEW WADE! That is pure insolence, repeating the scoop, getting an inviting full toss and making sweet, sweet connection with the middle of the bat as Shaheen tries to rip out his middle stump.
High over fine leg, and that’ll do it - Australia win by five wickets with six balls to spare, Wade finishes with 40 from 17 balls.
ANOTHER SCOOPED SIX AND AUSTRALIA HAVE WON!
SIX! Australia 171-5 (18.5)
Back. To. Back! This is just pure ball-striking, an over-pitched off-cutter from Shaheen Shah Afridi which is positively LAUNCHED in the vague direction of the adjacent Emirate!
96 metres! HUUUUUUUUGE! Australia need six off seven!
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