Both the teams walked on to the field, desperate to get back to their old winning and dominant ways. Both the teams were a force to be reckoned with but lost their track over the last 5-7 years or so. Pakistan had an additional motive to win; they wanted another shot at beating their arch rivals India, at the grandest stage of them all and make it to the all important Semi Finals. But fortunately or unfortunately they will have to wait for another four years for seeking redemption. Australia thrashed their opponents from Asia with ease, to seal their berth against the men in blue in the semifinals.
Pakistan won the toss and elected to bat, looking to post an imposing total and rattle their opponents, but it wasn’t meant to be so. Their batsmen failed to rise to the ultimate occasion and ended up scoring a feeble 213 runs. Most of their young and talented batsmen got a start but failed miserably to capitalize on it. Haris Sohail top scored with 41 while the experienced Misbah followed suit with a decent 34. Pak couldn’t deliver and in their heart they knew all along that the score was easily chasable by the host Aussies.
Credit should be given where its due and the Australian bowlers surely deserve a standing ovation for their performance. They bowled a tight line and length with almost every bowler scalping wickets. Josh Hazelwood was the top performer with 4 wickets, while Starc and Maxwell grabbed 2 wickets each. Pak batsmen never stood a chance.
Australia got to a jittery start as well. With Finch, Warner and Clarke getting out in quick succession, Australia was struggling at 59 for 3. Pak bowlers saw an opportunity to make inroads but Shane Watson and Steven Smith had other plans. They stabilized the innings and made sure that no other wicket fell till the score of 148. Steve Smith perished after scoring a gritty 65 off 69 balls. But Watson and the fiery Maxwell took their team home with ease.
Watson returned to form when it mattered the most with his 64 off 66 balls, while Maxwell’s fast and furious 44 off just 29 balls ensured an Australian victory with more than 16 overs to spare. Australia dominated a hapless Pak to register a 6 wicket win and enter the semifinals.
They will now square off with India on 26th March 2015 and seek revenge for their 2011 loss. Aussies will be keen to regain their lost glory while the undefeated men in blue are looking to regain the cup at all costs. What a match it is going to be. It’s certainly, game on.