'Utter madness': Cricket world in disbelief over Aussie 'miracle'

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·Sports Editor
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Matthew Wade and Marcus Stoinis, pictured here after Australia's win over Pakistan.
Matthew Wade and Marcus Stoinis broke Pakistan hearts. Image: Getty

Australia has shocked the cricket world with an extraordinary chase to take down Pakistan and reach the final of the T20 World Cup.

Australia are one win away from their maiden T20 World Cup title after Matthew Wade and Marcus Stoinis pulled off the great escape on Thursday night.

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In a dramatic semi-final in Dubai, Australia's asking rate went to beyond 12 an over before Wade smashed three-straight sixes to win it with six balls to spare.

It was enough to set up a Sunday night decider against New Zealand, in a repeat of the 2015 ODI final.

For so long both before and during Wade's unbeaten knock of 41 from 17 balls, Australia's pursuit of Pakistan's 4-176 looked unlikely.

Aaron Finch went first ball to Shaheen Shah Afridi, while Steve Smith (5) and Mitch Marsh (28) both fell sweeping Shadab Khan (4-26).

Khan also had Warner caught behind for 49 despite replays showing he'd missed the ball, as Australia's hopes looked gone when he failed to review.

And when Glenn Maxwell became the fourth victim for Shadab, who recorded the best-ever T20 World Cup semi-final figures by a bowler, Australia were in a humongous hole.

But just as Michael Hussey did 11 years ago in St Lucia, Stoinis and Wade broke Pakistan's hearts.

The pair let the equation get down to 62 from five overs before Stoinis (40 not out from 31) got the margin back to 22 from the last two overs.

Marcus Stoinis and Matthew Wade, pictured here celebrating Australia's win over Pakistan in their T20 World Cup semi-final.
Marcus Stoinis and Matthew Wade celebrate Australia's win over Pakistan in their T20 World Cup semi-final. (Photo by Francois Nel/Getty Images)

Then Wade exploded, with his last 33 runs coming from eight balls.

Dropped by Haris Rauf with 20 needed from 10, Wade hit the next three balls into the stands to seal the match with six balls to spare.

He ramped Shaheen twice and flicked him over the legside once in a brutal 147 seconds that ended the previously unbeaten Pakistan's tournament.

"Marcus was really confident we would get them, but I was a little unsure when I went out there," Wade said.

"The rate was getting up. But he reassured me he would find the boundary enough to get it deep."

Cricket commentators and fans were in disbelief over the dramatic finish.

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Australia have timed their run to the final brilliantly, and will enter the decider as favourites.

They were far from their best with the ball in the semi-final, as their pacemen faltered and they missed chances in the field.

Mohammad Rizwan, who spent two days in hospital with a chest infection this week, was dropped on zero and 20 before he made 67 from 52.

Fakhar Zaman thumped an unbeaten 55 from 32 after being dropped on 40, while Josh Hazlewood went for 0-49 from his four overs.

Mitchell Starc also went the distance in his last over but bowled well for his 2-38, while Pat Cummins finished with 1-30.

Pakistan players, pictured here consoling each other after their loss to Australia.
Pakistan players console each other after their loss to Australia. (Photo by Gareth Copley-ICC/ICC via Getty Images)

But again Adam Zampa bowled brilliantly to claim 1-22 and remove key man Babar Azam, with the legspinner also likely to be a force in the final.

Winning experience also shapes as a factor, with Australia the oldest team in the tournament and all that maturity paying off at the death against Pakistan.

"Experience is key in these games," Wade said.

"Even though we lost a few early wickets and things weren't really going our way early, there was no real panic in the dressing room.

"We all thought it was going to be a young man's game when T20s first came in.

"But certainly the more experienced players tend to have a little bit more success."

with AAP

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