Australia defeated Pakistan by 21 runs to keep their hopes of qualifying to the semifinals of the tournament, alive. It was the end of a rather dismal performance of Pakistan in the tournament and they will look to go back home and take back quite a few positives despite their losses. There were quite a few instances in the matches which tilted the match in the favour of the Australians.
Wahab Riaz’s dismissal of Khawaja and Warner
David Warner and Usman Khawaja are two of the most destructive batsmen in the cricketing world, capable of taking any bowling attack apart. Howvever, Wahab Riaz was not deterred by the challenge. He first got rid of Usman Khawaja with a brilliant yorker, and came back to get rid of David Warner, doing him for pace.
Steve Smith’s knock of 61 runs
The Australian captain has been in dismal form so far in the tournament, but he stepped up to the task in this do-or-die encounter. His partnership with Maxwell and then with Watson ensured that Australia would post a huge total for Pakistan to chase down.
Watson’s knock of 44 runs
Watson’s cameo towards the end proved to be crucial as the Australians hammered the Pakistani bowlers towards the end of their innings. Those extra runs proved to be crucial as Pakistan eventually fell short by 21 runs.
Sharjeel Khan’s dismissal
Sharjeel provided Pakistan with a terrific start just like he had against New Zealand. He looked to go after the Aussie bowlers, scoring 30 runs of just 19 runs before Man-of-the-Match, James Faulkner got rid of him.
Zampa’s figures of 2 for 32
Umar Akmal looked in scintillating form from the word go. However, young Adam Zampa who had impressed so far in the tournament, got rid of the Pakistani batsman who looked to take the match away from the Australians. It proved to be crucial as Akmal was looking in superb form and brought back memories of his innings against Australia in the 2014 World Cup when he took apart the Australian bowling attack, scoring 94 runs in the process. Captain Shahid Afridi seemed to be in destructive form right from the word go and had smashed a couple of boundaries before Zampa got rid of him too, hampering Pakistan’s run chase majorly.
Faulkner’s match-winning spell
Faulkner was in brilliant form with the ball, having got rid of Sharjeel Khan early on. He came back to remove Latif who had played well for his 46. However Faulkner’s change of pace did the Pakistani batsman. With the very next ball he was able to get rid Imad as well, leaving Pakistan reeling at 150 for 6 in 18 overs. He later came back to dismiss Sarfaraz and Wahab Riaz, eventually ending with figures of 5 for 28, leading to him being judged the Man-of-the-Match.
Eventually Pakistan lost the match sending them out of the tournament. It makes the matchup between India and Australia even more interesting as the winner would qualify to the semifinals of the tournament while the losing team would be sent crashing out of the tournament.