Australia beat Pakistan by 21 runs in a high-stakes match at Mohali on Friday. Australia won the toss and elected to bat first, before going on a rampage. Captain Steve Smith led the way, with a 62-ball 61. Handy knocks by Shane Watson (44 not out in 28 balls) and Glenn Maxwell (30 off 24) pushed them to a towering 193/4 in their 20 overs. Among the Pakistani bowlers, an in-form Wahab Riaz picked up 2 for 35, while Imad Wasim ended the day with figures of 2 for 31.
Facing a required run-rate of more than nine runs an over, Pakistan lost Ahmed Shehzad and Sharjeel Khan early. Khalid Latif scored 46 off 41 balls and got some middle-order company from Shoaib Malik (40 off 20). However, it just wasn’t enough, especially with man-of-the-match James Faulkner clinching Australia’s best ever T20 bowling figures of 5 for 27. Pakistan only managed 172/8 at the end of 20 overs.
The defeat knocked Pakistan out of the tournament as needed to win to stay alive. Australia’s victory means their match against India on Sunday is a virtual quarterfinal, as both teams now have four points in the group. The winner of Sunday’s match will join New Zealand, who were at the top of Group 2, in the semifinals.