International Cricket Council
Stoinis, Wade vs PAK

Talking Points: Wade's all-important second chance; the year of Rizwan

Australia stunned Pakistan in the second semi-final to join New Zealand in the finals of the ICC Men's T20 World Cup. Here are the Talking Points from the game.

MATCH CENTRE | MATCH REPORT

Video Match Highlights 11 Nov 21
Match Highlights: Pakistan v Australia

Rizwan, the warrior 

This time last year, Mohammad Rizwan was still on the fringes of the Pakistan setup, trying to become a permanent fixture. Since making his debut in 2015, he had just played 25 games, scoring only 185 runs at an average of just 16.81 and a strike rate of 96.35.

An injury to Babar Azam on the tour of New Zealand in December 2020 forced Pakistan to push Rizwan up the order. After below-par performances in the first two games, Rizwan smashed 89 in just 59 balls and there has been no looking back since.

A year later, Rizwan is in a league of his own, and on Thursday he became the first player in the history of T20I cricket to score more than 1000 runs in a single calendar year.

It was a struggle initially as he couldn't time the ball as well as he liked. However, Rizwan ground it out and eventually found his touch. 

After the wicket of Azam, he took hold of Pakistan's innings. He scored a sensational fifty, his third of the tournament, as he broke Jos Buttler's record for most runs by a wicket-keeper in a single edition of a T20 World Cup. 

Video ICC Men's T20 World Cup 2021 11 Nov 21
Highlights from Rizwan's vital knock for Pakistan

After the innings, Pakistan's batting consultant Matthew Hayden revealed that Rizwan was in the hospital on the eve of the semi-final.

“Rizwan, you probably didn’t know was actually in hospital just a night ago suffering with some sort of lung condition. This is a warrior," Hayden said.

“He has been brilliant through it (the campaign) and he’s got great courage, as has Babar. Fantastic tonight from him.”

Zampa's having a ball

Ahead of the semi-final, Australia captain Aaron Finch was asked about Adam Zampa's progress through the tournament and if he is still underrated in cricket. 

"Yeah, I don't think that anyone has underrated him. He's been a wonderful bowler for a few years now in the white-ball formats for Australia. He's someone who loves the competitiveness or loves the fight.

"I think Zamps' biggest strength over his career is that he's been able to get good players out on good wickets consistently, and that's a great skill to have."

Zampa went on to prove his captain right in the all-important semi-final, providing Australia with their first breakthrough as he scalped the big wicket of Pakistan skipper Azam.

Video ICC Men's T20 World Cup 2021 11 Nov 21
Zampa strikes to claim Australia's first wicket

Zampa was brought on after the Powerplay and turned the screws in the middle overs. With pressure being built, Azam was forced to break the shackles and holed out in the deep as a result.

Zampa only went for 22 runs in his four overs, conceding just one six and a four (through byes) in his spell. He even bowled the difficult 16th over and went for just 5 runs.

In a bowling attack consisting of the likes of Mitchell Starc and Pat Cummins, Zampa has been Australia's trump card in spin-friendly conditions in the UAE, playing an important role in Australia's journey to the semi-finals. The wrist-spinner has 12 wickets to his name at a miserly economy of 5.69 and is currently the second-highest wicket-taker in the tournament so far.

Sensational Shadab Khan

Shadab Khan saved his best for the last, coming to the party in the all-important semi-final against Australia.

Though Shadab has bowled brilliantly in the Super 12 games, his role for the team has been to contain the runs in the middle-overs, something he has done to perfection.

However, against Australia, he brought Pakistan back into the game by breaking the 51-run partnership between David Warner and Mitchell Marsh. He kept pegging at the line-up, picking wickets at regular intervals and halting the momentum every time Australia.

He picked up a wicket in each of his four, scalping the big wickets of Steve Smith, David Warner and Glenn Maxwell, at which point Australia were staring down the barrel before Marcus Stoinis and Matthew Wade did a Jimmy Neesham and Dary Mitchell from last night.  

Video ICC Men's T20 World Cup 2021 11 Nov 21
Maxwell finds the fielder after attempting a reverse sweep

Stonis, Wade finish the game

Marcus Stoinis and Matthew Wade repeated their heroics from the opening game of Australia's World Cup campaign where they put on an unbeaten 40-run partnership in 28 balls in difficult conditions to take the team across the line.

To repeat similar heroics from a much more difficult match situation in a pressure game was that much more commendable. 

Video ICC Men's T20 World Cup 2021 11 Nov 21
Wade punishes Pakistan after being dropped

Wade walked into the crease at the fall of Glenn Maxwell's wicket, at which point Australia needed 81 from 46 balls. What followed was 40 balls of absolute carnage, with Stonis and Wade picking apart arguably the finest bowling lineup in this year's World Cup.

It wasn't just plain hitting though as the duo played it smart by not taking a risk in Shaheen Afridi's penultimate over, happy with accumulating just six runs.

Knowing Afridi had only one over left, they targetted the other bowlers, smashing a six and a four each off Haris Rauf and Hasan Ali to bring the equation down to 22 off 2 overs.

Afridi, bowling the penultimate over of the innings, kept it quiet in the first couple of balls. Wade got a massive reprieve off the third ball, with Hasan Ali spilling a regulation catch in the deep. 

Wade made full use of the lifeline, smashing Afridi for three sixes in three balls, two of which were gutsy ramps shots over deep fine, to seal the game and book a date with New Zealand in the finals of the T20 World Cup.

Video ICC Men's T20 World Cup 2021 11 Nov 21
The moment Australia made the T20 World Cup final

 

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