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St Lucia, 2010. 18 runs were required. Saeed Ajmal bowled to Michael Hussey. We all know where did it go. Defending champions Pakistan were knocked out by one man. It is a memory that still hurts Pakistan fans. But when the Semi-finals line-up was confirmed and how Pakistan has been taking down opponent by opponent, fans sees this chance to end that nightmare. Here’s the match preview of the first Semi-Final between PAK vs AUS.
Notably, it was a see-saw kind of a game that was played 11 years ago in the West Indies. Both sides played twice and the Men in Green were at the wrong end, twice. From Amir’s magical 5-wicket over to the Akmal brothers’ twin fifties, the result didn’t go in their favor.
For the Aussies, it was their famous “Australianism” meaning a single-minded determination to win. It was something that has been going on from Don Bradman’s era, winning matches out of nowhere. It was an incredible hitting by Michael Hussey, who labeled it as his best innings of all times in T20Is.
From there on, Pakistan played 18 games and won 10 of them and has dominated Australia since. It will be a game to watch out for.
PAK vs AUS: What are we expecting?
For starters, Pakistan has NEVER beaten Australia in the ICC World Cup knockout matches. They have played four games, dating back to the 1987 OD World Cup. The last knockout match these two played in an ICC event was in the 2015 World Cup, where Wahab Riaz’s famous spell to Watson took place.
It will be a game of matchups; Babar Azam vs Josh Hazelwood, Imad Wasim vs Aaron Finch, M Rizwan vs Mitchell Starc, Shaheen Afridi vs David Warner. You name more. In fact, Babar’s first assignment as Pakistan’s captain was the 2019 T20I series between the two teams and, unfortunately, lost 2-0.
But given Pakistan’s form in the UAE, where they have now won 16 straight games in the country, they shown to be a big threat. Even in the 2018 series, Aaron’s Men have no answers to Babar’s Men especially with the returning of Imad Wasim. In fact, PAK spinners were the key to keeping them quiet in the series and Babar himself proved why anchoring in such conditions is so important.
For the Men in Gold, they had suffered 10-2 defeat in West Indies and Bangladesh prior to the World Cup. The wickets in Bangladesh were no doubt bad ones, but the wickets of WI were still better. Yet they couldn’t play spin well. But in this WC, they coped with spinners and target the seam bowlers to get going.
Some of their batters were out of form, David Warner was one of them before he got runs in two group games. The bowlers have done well. In particular their two highest wicket-takers, Adam Zampa and Josh Hazlewood.
It is going to be who’s going to help in putting on the score. Especially in Dubai conditions where dew will play a big role. So whoever will bat first, and if they want to win it, they better put on a score that they can defend on dew.
PAK vs AUS: Match Details
- Date: Nov 11, 2021
- Timing: 7:00 PM PKT
- Venue: Dubai
- Weather: As it has been throughout the tournament, it is clear and it’s going to be hot.
Conditions / Pitch Report:
It is the same Dubai wicket that has been played throughout the tournament. So, teams winning the toss will definitely choose to field first. Toss will play a big role.
Head to Head:
Matches: 23 | Pakistan: 12 | Australia: 09 | Tied: 01 | No-Result: 01
Pakistan: W W W W W (Completed matches, most recent first)
Australia: W W L W W
PAK vs AUS: Team News
There has been a setback for the Shaheens as Shoaib Malik and M Rizwan is currently suffering from mild flu. If they are not fit tomorrow, both Sarfaraz and Haider will likely slot in.
1. Babar Azam (C), 2. Mohammad Rizwan (wk)/ Sarfaraz Ahmed (wk), 3. Fakhar Zaman, 4. Mohammad Hafeez, 5. Shoaib Malik/ Haider Ali, 6. Asif Ali, 7. Shadab Khan, 8. Imad Wasim, 9. Hassan Ali, 10. Haris Rauf, 11. Shaheen Afridi
The combinations seem to work better for AUS lately, with five seam bowling options and two spinners. It is unlikely they will change their squad.
1. David Warner, 2. Aaron Finch (C), 3. Mitchell Marsh, 4. Steven Smith, 5. Glenn Maxwell, 6. Marcus Stoinis, 7. Matthew Wade (wk), 8. Pat Cummins, 9. Mitchell Starc, 10. Josh Hazlewood, 11. Adam Zampa
PAK vs AUS: Players to Watch
1. Babar Azam, Batter (PAK)
Fans need to understand how anchoring is so vital and that’s what Babar showed in the 2018 series. He was the stand out batter in the whole series. Now, the highest run-scorer in the tournament with four fifties, he got a big job in defeating the Aussies, given how they have blocked PAK in going into the final.
2. Steve Smith, Batter (AUS)
He has a quiet tournament but his importance is as equal as Babar’s in anchoring the innings. Smith’s personal T20I opponent is against Pakistan, averaging 33 over them.
3. Imad Wasim, Bowler (PAK)
He is one of the tournament’s most economical bowlers and he has quietly done brilliantly with the ball. He does chips in with wickets, but keeping his end tight helps in other bowlers getting the opposite batters. He was the main threat in the 2018 series and he would love to get the Aussie batters and take PAK into the final.
4. Josh Hazlewood, Bowler (AUS)
We know the threat of Mitchell Starc, whose inswings can be lethal if there will be one. We know how Adam Zampa’s leg-spins can trouble the batters. But if there is one bowler who will quietly do the job for Aussies, it’s Josh. He is AUS’s second-highest wicket-taker and has done far better than his fellow fast bowlers. Hazlewood’s Test-match line and length will be again the main factor in the game.
Stats and Trivia:
- T20 World Cup Head-to-Head: Pakistan 3-3 Australia in six games
- The only time these two sides played a Semi-Final in a T20 World Cup event was back in 2010
- Pakistan and Australia have played four ICC World Cup Knockout matches. Australia won all four of them.
“What we’ve seen over the course of the tournament is how important the powerplay is for batting and bowling. I think the stats around the middle overs and the death overs are pretty similar throughout, but the powerplay definitely holds the key. Shaheen has been in really good form for Pakistan, so that’s going to be a crucial battle no doubt.”
Aaron Finch, Australian captain