Australia have ended Pakistan’s stay in the 2016 World T20, as they held on to a 21-run victory in Mohali on Friday.
After defeats to India and New Zealand, Pakistan had to beat Australia to stand a chance of reaching the semi-finals, but the victory for Australia leaves a quarter-final situation against hosts India on Sunday, with the winners joining New Zealand in the semi-finals.
After winning the toss and batting first, a modest total looked on the cards for the Aussies with scrappy contributions from Usman Khawaja (21), Aaron Finch (15) and David Warner (9), but that was turned on its head in the last 10 overs, with 116 runs coming off them.
Steve Smith and Shane Watson were the chief destroyers, with the skipper finally coming to the party after a lean spell. He smashed an unbeaten 61 off 43 balls, while Watson hit 44 off 21 balls, with an 18-ball 30 from Glenn Maxwell in-between, guiding them to 193-4.
Pakistan batted well throughout, but lacked the spark needed to keep up with the required run rate. There were cheap dismissals as Ahmed Shahzad (1) skied one needlessly early on. The innings was built around Khalid Latif’s 46, but it came off a sluggish 41 balls.
When Shaid Afridi was stumped for 14 thanks to some clever bowling from Adam Zampa, it all but spelled the end of Pakistan’s fight. James Faulkner made absolutely sure of victory, however, by cleaning up the tail to notch up a five-wicket haul, becoming the first to do so for Australia in T20s.
They showed genuine potential throughout the tournament, but just weren’t clinical enough in the end. The second semi-final place in Group 2 will come down to Australia and India.