Australia has secured a 21 run victory over Pakistan in Mohali at the ICC World Twenty20 on Friday. The Australians won the toss and Usman Khawaja (21) and Aaron Finch put on 28 from 22 balls for the opening stand before David Warner departed for 9. Both men were out at the hands of Wahab Riaz (2/35) and when Finch fell for 15 after being castled by Imad Wasim the Aussies were 57/3 in the eighth over and the match was delicately poised.
However skipper Steven Smith struck an unbeaten 61 from 43 balls with just seven fours in a measured and mature innings at a blistering pace. Glenn Maxwell smashed 30 from 18 deliveries before Wasim took care of him and then soon-to-be-retired Shane Watson clubbed 44 from 21 balls (four fours, three sixes) as the Baggy Greens rallied to post 193/4 in their 20 overs. In reply Ahmed Shezhad wasted six balls for his one run before Josh Hazlewood had him caught by Nathan Coulter-Nile.
Khalid Latif (46) and Sharjeel Khan (30) were among the best Pakistani batsmen but James Faulkner bowled both of them. Adam Zampa (2/32) accounted for Umar Akmal (32) and Shahid Afridi (14). Shoaib Malik hit 40 not out from just 20 deliveries but no other player from the subcontinent could reach double figures.
Faulkner was the hero with 5/27 as the green shirts closed their stint on 172/8 and the men from Down Under ran out winners by 21 runs. Smith’s side will face India in a winner-takes-all Group 2 match meeting on Sunday whereas the 2009 champions are on their way home after one win and three defeats in the round robin phase.