Pakistan and Australia will lock horns today (Thursday) at the Dubai International Stadium in the second semi-final of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021.
While Aaron Finch’s men are now just two wins away from tasting T20 World Cup glory for the very first time, Pakistan will look to continue the momentum from the Super 12 stage. The Men in Green will clearly enter the semi-final as hot favourites as they remain the only unbeaten side so far in the showpiece event, having won all five games in Group 2. Meanwhile, Australia, who advance in top-4 clash from ‘group of death’, have lost just one match till now.
This will be Pakistan fifth appearance in the T20 WC semi-finals. The 2009 champions have reached this stage in the first four editions (2007, 2009, 2010, and 2012). On the other hand, Australia who is yet to win the tournament will be playing their fourth semi-final (2007, 2010, and 2012).
The two sides have met 23 times in T20I cricket, with Pakistan leading the head-to-head series 13-9 (1 NR). Pakistan and Australia last faced each other in T20Is in November 2019, Aussies won the three-match series 2-0. As far as the T20 World Cup is concerned, both sides have won three matches each. Australia won by 21 runs when both teams last faced each other in the 2016 edition.
For Australia, all eyes will be on David Warner who has amassed 187 runs at an average of 46.75 in this edition. Another Aussie who will have his say in the heavyweight clash is Adam Zampa. Only Sri Lanka’s Wanindu Hasaranga has taken more wickets than Australia’s x-factor spinner. Accompanying him will be the pace trio of Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood and Pat Cummins, and Glenn Maxwell’s tricks.
With two half-centuries and an average of 71.33, Pakistan will rely on their opening batter Mohammad Rizwan. Alongside the star keeper will be captain Babar Azam who is the only batter who has scored more runs than Rizwan in this tournament.
Meanwhile, Pakistan’s fast bowlers are breathing fire especially Shaheen Shah Afridi. The star opening bowler has been dangerous with the new ball and canny at the death throughout the tournament. Emotions and excitement will be at an all-time high on Thursday when the two teams face each other in what is being touted as a mouth-watering clash. The pitch to be used for the semi-final has seen three previous uses, with the evidence suggesting it should be good for batting. Dew, though could be a factor, making the toss especially important.
TEAMS (FROM)
PAKISTAN: Babar Azam (capt), Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Fakhar Zaman, Mohammad Hafeez, Haider Ali, Shoaib Malik, Asif Ali, Shadab Khan, Imad Wasim, Hasan Ali, Mohammad Nawaz, Haris Rauf and Shaheen Shah Afridi.
AUSTRALIA: David Warner, Aaron Finch (capt), Mitchell Marsh, Steve Smith, Glenn Maxwell, Marcus Stoinis, Matthew Wade (wk), Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Adam Zampa and Josh Hazlewood.

Pakistan keen to carry momentum in T20 WC semifinal against Australi 1

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