World Cup 2015 Q/ F 3 : Powerful Aussies too hot for Pakistan, meets India in semis

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Austrlian cricket celebrates a Pakistani wicket in the quarter-final at Adelaide
Austrlian cricket celebrates a Pakistani wicket in the quarter-final at Adelaide

It will be Australia versus India at Sydney in the second World Cup semi- finals to be played in Sydney on March 26. The Aussies set up a clash with Pakistan by six wickets at the Adelaide Oval. All – rounder Shane Watson bounced back to top form and made the most of an early reprieve to guide Australia to a six-wicket win over Pakistan with an unbeaten 64 in the Cricket World Cup quarterfinals. The Australians lost opener Aaron Finch (2) with the total on 15 and withstood a torrid spell from Wahab Riaz (2/54) in the middle of the chase.

Riaz was unlucky to have two catches put down, including Watson on 4. But back in form Watson shared an 89-run stand with Steve Smith (65) and unbeaten 68-run stand with Glenn Maxwell (44 not out) to guide Aussies home in front of the delighted home crowd. Watson hit a boundary to get Australia to 216-4 in the 34th over. Australia will play defending champion India in a semifinal at Sydney on March 26th

Earlier , Comeback paceman Josh Hazlewood took four wickets as Australia dismissed a wasteful Pakistan for 213 runs at the Adelaide Oval boosting the co-hosts’ hopes of a World Cup semifinal with India. Hazlewood, replacing seamer Pat Cummins, combined with leftarmer Mitchell Starc to remove Pakistan’s openers cheaply and returned to punch a hole through the Asian team’s middle-order on a sun-drenched autumn day.

Part-time spinner Glenn Maxwell took two wickets and Aaron Finch three catches at deep midwicket, as captain Misbah-ul-Haq and two other Pakistan right-handers threw their wickets away in an attempt to force the pace. Misbah won the toss and opted to bat first but the move backfired with openers Sarfraz Ahmed and Ahmed Shehzad both out within three balls before the sixth over. Sarfraz, on 10, edged a quicker ball from Starc to Shane Watson who took a fine, low catch diving to his right in the slips.

Hazlewood (4-35) then struck to remove Shehzad for five, the opener edging behind to Australia captain Michael Clarke. Misbah was nearly out for a duck two balls later when the ball brushed his stump after clipping his thigh pad, but the bails stayed intact.

He and number three batsman Haris Sohail battled to steady the innings and the Pakistan skipper smashed Maxwell over the fence twice.But Maxwell had the last laugh, breaking the 73-run partnership when Misbah miscued a slog-sweep straight to Finch in the 24th over. The writing was on the wall when Mitchell Johnson had Sohail out for 41 soon after, following up a venomous bouncer with a wide, fuller delivery to the left-hander who sent a leaden-footed edge to wicketkeeper Brad Haddin. Umar Akmal (20) and Shahid Afridi (23) repeated their captain’s horror mode of dismissals , holing out to Finch on the rope off the bowling of Maxwell and Hazlewood respectively.

That left Pakistan reeling at 158-6, but paceman Wahab Riaz added 30 runs with Sohaib Maqsood before the middle order batsman slashed Hazlewood straight to Johnson at cover to be out for 29. Wahab was out a few balls later for 16, nicking Starc behind to Haddin, before Sohail Khan sent a top-edge from a Hazlewood ball soaring high into the sky before landing in the wicketkeeper’s gloves. Pakistan’s tailenders nudged their team past 200 before all-rounder James Faulkner had a slogging Ehsan Adil caught for 15 on the penultimate ball of the allotted overs.

 

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