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Page last updated at 19:29 GMT, Friday, 14 May 2010 20:29 UK

Australia stun Pakistan to reach World Twenty20 final

ICC World Twenty20 semi-final, St Lucia:
Australia 197-7 (19.5 ovs) bt Pakistan 191-6 (20 ovs) by three wickets
Match scorecard

Mike Hussey (right) celebrates with Mitchell Johnson
Hussey rescued Australia with one of the greatest Twenty20 innings ever seen

By Jamie Lillywhite

Mike Hussey hit an exceptional unbeaten 60 from 24 balls as Australia beat Pakistan by three wickets to set up an ICC World Twenty20 final with England.

Pakistan made a huge total of 191-6 in St Lucia, with Kamran Akmal making 50 and his brother Umar blasting four sixes in an unbeaten 56 from 35 balls.

Cameron White hit five sixes in 43 from 31 balls but Australia seemed out of it needing 70 from the final five overs.

Yet Hussey's three sixes in the last over sealed it with a ball to spare.

It was the third highest winning run chase in Twenty20 internationals and arguably one of the greatest finishes to any match.

Few sides would have got close to the defending champions' total, which was the joint second-highest of the tournament, having lost so many wickets.

606: DEBATE
Linebreaker

Michael Clarke's side must have thought the match had slipped from their grasp when Steve Smith was the seventh wicket to fall and 48 was still needed from 17 balls.

But, as has happened so often before, the Australians found a saviour in the hour of their greatest need.

The 34-year-old Hussey, known as Mr Cricket to his team-mates, hit six sixes in all to steer his side to an amazing victory and set up a mouthwatering final against their Ashes rivals on Sunday.

The Australians will look to improve their performance in the field, which had been unusually ragged having won the toss and put Pakistan into bat.

They were knocked out of kilter by the stunning strokeplay of the Akmal brothers and seemed unable to fathom a way of stemming the runs as Pakistan, who had won only two of their five matches going into the semi-final, rose to the occasion.

Dirk Nannes began with eight dot balls to Kamran as only two singles and a wide came from the first two overs before the Pakistan openers, and Akmal in particular, cut loose superbly.

Kamran hit over cover for four then drove the next ball drown the ground for another boundary, while in the next over Salman Butt fizzed successive boundaries as the runs started to flow.

Umar Akmal
Umar led Pakistan to the joint second highest score of the tournament

Butt was on 10 when he appeared to edge Mitchell Johnson but there was no significant appeal, and when leg-spinner Smith was brought into the attack after the powerplays his first over went for 15 as Kamran launched a six over long-off.

A disgruntled Shane Watson, after one over for eight, switched ends but was dispatched for 18 as Kamran hit a mammoth six down the ground that landed in the lap of ICC chief executive Haroon Lorgat and added successive fours to reach his fifth T20 fifty from 32 balls.

His impressive innings ended when Warner dived forward in the deep to hold a superb low catch, ending an opening stand of 82 from 59 balls. Warner was soon in the action again as Butt swept Smith aerially and the outfielder moved swiftly across to take a neat catch.

There was a relative lull with 29 runs coming from the next four overs, Shahid Afridi top-edging straight up to wicketkeeper Brad Haddin, but Khalid Latif swept Clarke onto the roof at mid-wicket then hammered the next ball down the ground for four. Umar then thumped Nannes for six over long-on before deftly flicking the next ball over short fine leg for four.

The 19-year-old raced to fifty with even more alacrity than his brother, reaching the half century from 29 balls after three sixes in the 18th over from Johnson that saw 24 added to the total.

With Australia beginning to feel the pressure and allowing byes, wides and overthrows that were unthinkable in their previous matches, Razzaq smashed David Hussey over long-on for six and the momentum just kept flowing for Afridi's team as Warner was caught at point for a duck in the first over of the reply.

Captain Shahid Afridi congratulates Mohammad Aamer
Mohammad Aamer gave Pakistan a great start with the ball

Watson and Haddin briefly revived the Australians by taking 15 from the next over from Razzaq, but Watson then hit teenage left-armer Mohammad Aamer straight to long-on.

Haddin and Clarke took their side to 53-2 after the six powerplay overs but Haddin was drawn out of his crease expertly by slow left-armer Abdur Rehman and easily stumped, leaving the required rate at almost 11 per over.

Kamran's outstanding match continued as he smartly whipped off the bails when Clarke lunged at one from Afridi in the next over.

White then struck three sixes in four balls off Afridi and Mohammad Hafeez as the requirement became 100 from 49 balls, promptly reduced by six as David Hussey launched Hafeez over long-off.

Australia's unlucky number struck as with 87 needed Hussey got a leading edge to give Rehman a simple return catch but a 90-metre six from White gave Australia a glimmer of hope with 70 needed from the final five overs.

Mike Hussey then hit successive sixes as Afridi dropped short and astonishingly the pressure appeared to be back on Pakistan.

But White hit a low full toss from Aamer straight to long-off in the 17th over and four balls later, the wily spinner Saaed Ajmal drew Smith out of his crease to allow Kamran another stumping.

The indefatigable Mike Hussey pulled his third six to leave 34 from the final 12 balls then managed to flick the final ball of the penultimate over for four, leaving 18 from the last six, bowled by Ajmal.

After Johnson gave Hussey the strike with a single, however, victory seemed inevitable as the next two balls were thumped into the legside for six and Hussey won the match with his sixth maximum.



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see also
Jonathan Agnew column
14 May 10 |  Cricket
Clarke praises 'freakish' Hussey
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Pakistan v Australia photos
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England target first ICC trophy
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Collingwood wants Australia final
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Classy England cruise into final
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Aussies crush Windies to advance
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Pakistan beat S Africa to qualify
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Fluent Aussies overpower Pakistan
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ICC World Twenty20 teams guide
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ICC World Twenty20 2010
17 May 10 |  Cricket
Women's World Twenty20 2010
17 May 10 |  Women's cricket
Live cricket on the BBC
26 Oct 11 |  Cricket


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