Australia captain Aaron Finch has stated that the way Matthew Wade held his nerve at the end was amazing after he played an unbeaten knock of 41 runs from 17 balls. Finch also added that they played some good cricket at the back end and the support of all players is required to get across the line.
After winning the toss, Australia opted to bowl first, but Mohammad Rizwan (67) and Fakhar Zaman (55*) scored brisk fifties to guide their side to 176/4. For Australia, Mitchell Starc scalped two wickets, whereas Pat Cummins and Adam Zampa clinched one wicket each.
Chasing the target of 177, Australia faced an early blow as they lost the wicket of captain Aaron Finch (0) in the first over, but David Warner (49) stood solid at one end and accelerated the innings. Mitchell Marsh, who walked out to bat after the dismissal of Finch played a 22-ball 28 and partnered for a 51-run stand along with Warner. However, Australia tumbled from 52/2 to 96/5 after a brilliant bowling performance from Shadab Khan, who scalped four wickets in the match.
But, Australia retained the momentum back with a crucial 81-run stand between Matthew Wade and Marcus Stoinis, and won the semi-final clash against Pakistan. Wade played an unbeaten knock of 41 runs from 17 balls, while Stoinis scored 40 runs off 31 balls, staying at the crease till the end. Australia were required 22 runs in the last two overs, but Wade struck three consecutive sixes on the last three balls off Shaheen Afridi in the 19th over, and booked his side's spot in the summit clash on Sunday in Dubai.
Reflecting on his team's victory, Australia captain Aaron Finch stated that the way Wade held his nerve was amazing.
“Never thought it was in the bag. It was a great game of cricket. The way Wade held his nerve at the end was amazing. That partnership with Stoinis was crucial. I got my feet in a tangle and opening batsmen do get a few good balls now and then in T20 cricket. We were sloppy today in the field, a couple of tough ones. We need the support of all 17 players to get across the line. We have played some really good cricket in the back end. Teams chasing have been successful. There is no dew, the lights take effect. I was hoping I'd lose the toss, bat first and put up a good score on the board,” he stated in the post-match presentation.
Wade and Stoinis hit 6 sixes and four boundaries in their 81-run stand. Speaking about his innings Wade said that Stoinis showed him the way to play and march towards the target.
“Absolutely (preempted the scoops). I was talking to Stoinis at the other end and tried to work out what they're doing. I got a little more pace on than expected, I probably could have used it a little bit earlier, but yeah.. glad to get a couple at the end. There wasn't a lot of chat before I went in as we lost quick wickets. But when I got out there, Me and Marcus had batted together in the first game and got some momentum today as well. I was a bit unsure but Marcus showed me the way out,” he commented.
Wade was adjudged Man of the Match for his sensational knock.. Wade has said that he was happy to have repaid the team faith after coming back in the team a few games ago.
“There was one short side and I was confident that if I had to target that then I could pull it off, but it got down to two-a-ball and you had to hit everything in your arc. I got a boundary away early on and then stalled for 5-6 balls, but Marcus got the boundary away and got us to a total where I was confident in the last two overs. It hasn't sunk in but probably when I sit down tonight it might sink in. I was out of the two team for 2-3 years, just came back 20 games ago and happy to have repaid the faith,” he explained.
Australia will face New Zealand in the T20 World Cup final on November 14 at Dubai International Cricket Stadium.