Oh boy what a day it is and what a cricket match that the world and we witnessed. The match between Australia and Pakistan was a classic display of nerves and spin.
Pakistan's spinner almost ousted Australia from moving to semis - Hafeez [top], Saeed Ajmal [left], Raza [right]
Pakistan batting first gave a target of 149 runs to Australia to chase. But in it was a catch that Australia had to to score at least 112 to qualify for the semis. And Pakistan really made it difficult for Australia to reach 112 and Australia was in a danger to be ousted as it was finding difficult to reach 112, what to talk of 150 to win, at the hands of the spinners Pakistan had unleashed against them. The Kangaroos could only make 117 in 20 overs, 32 short of the target they were given to chase by Pakistan.
And even Bailey confessed at the end of the match that Pakistan really did outplay them. Pakistan's Saeed Ajmal (3-17), Hassan Raza (2-14) and captain Hafeez (2-22) really did the magic to contain the Aussies, who found them stuck in a quagmire, finding ways to reach 112. Raza was declared man of the match.
Aussies when fielding, did restrict Pakistani batsmen, and Starc took 3-20, claiming wickets of Pakistani captain Hafeez, Kamran Akmal and the most dreaded Shahid Afridi, who though has have waned nerves as a batsman he once used to have. Pakistan's Jamshed played superbly and scored 55. Ushering in Razzaq today was a good decision as he hit valuable 22.-->
Aussies had troubles right from the start when young Raza took Watson in the third over for 8. In the next over, Hafeez struck and sent back Warner for 8. Aussies captain Bailey succumbed to Saeed Ajmal in the 9th over for 15. 18th over was the deadliest as Saeed Ajmal sent back Wade for 13 and Cummins for nil.
Although Australia are in for the semis, they suffered a huge defeat at the hands of Pakistan spinners.
Now what are Pakistan's chances for the semis? This will depend on the match being played between India and South Africa. If India score 160, they need to win by 32 runs; if they score 140, the margin needs to be at least 31. If they do not or win by lesser margins, they too will have to go out with the South Africans.
Let us watch the match and see who qualifies for the semis: Pakistan or India?