Australia v Pakistan, 2nd semi-final, St Lucia

Michael Hussey stuns Pakistan

The Report by Osman Samiuddin

May 14, 2010

Comments: 311 | Text size: A | A

Australia 197 for 7 (Michael Hussey 60*, White 43) beat Pakistan 191 for 6 (Umar 56, Kamran 50) by three wickets
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details
How they were out


Michael Hussey is ecstatic after completing a miracle chase, Australia v Pakistan, 2nd semi-final, ICC World Twenty20, St Lucia, May 14, 2010
Michael Hussey pulled off a sensational run-chase to send Australia into the final © Getty Images
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This is what makes a champion side and don't Pakistan know it. In 40 overs Australia re-taught their opponents the lessons of four days in Sydney from earlier this year, the moral of which remains that till the precise moment Australia are out, they are never out. Pakistan were on top for three days in Sydney, and 39 overs here, but Australia hunted away, gripped in, stuck at it. And with one ball to go, they pulled off an astonishing chase of 192 to enter Sunday's final, leaving on Pakistan the deepest kind of scars in an already abusive relationship. On this form, England needn't bother turning up.

Michael Hussey was the man in Sydney and he was the man here again, his captain Michael Clarke calling him, justifiably, a "freak," afterwards. Like Michael Bevan on speed, he pulled off an improbable heist, having come in at 105 for five in the 13th over, with too much needed and not enough wickets in hand. But as he crescendoed with 38 runs from the last ten remarkable balls of the game, he completed what must be - with little doubt - the finest innings of its kind in the short history of this short format; it is only hoped that Shane Warne was watching.

Australia were mostly out of it when he had walked in. Cameron White, as fearsome a T20 hitter as there can be, had been scaring Pakistan until then with some monstrous hits, but a regular fall of wickets lulled Pakistan into false hopes. Even the batsmen who had fallen earlier had done so while blazing away, a trait as Australian as Vegemite.

Five sixes in five overs from White had come from the 11th onwards, but Pakistan's spinners still kept a lid on things and when Saeed Ajmal bowled a five-run 14th, it seemed a crucial one. Australia still needed 70 from five and when White fell, it seemed over. But Hussey had already gotten his eye in, pulling Shahid Afridi for a pair of key sixes, and a mirage of momentum remained.

Match Meter

  • Pak
  • 9th over, Kamran steps it up: Watson is smashed for two fours and a six in an over that fetches 18, and the openers extend their partnership to 81.
  • Pak
  • 18th over, Umar sizzles: Johnson is launched for three sixes by Umar in a 24-run over in which he also brings up his fifty. Pakistan go on to post 191.
  • Pak
  • 1st and 3rd over, Aamer strikes: The two W's, Warner and Watson, are sent back cheaply, hurting Australia early in a big chase.
  • Pak
  • 8th and 9th over, Spinners tighten grip: Haddin and Clarke are stumped off Rehman and Afridi to put Australia deeper in trouble at 62 for 4.
  • Aus
  • 11th over, White begins counter-attack: Afridi is slog-swept for consecutive sixes. White adds three more to his tally before falling in the 17th over.
  • Pak
  • 17th and 18th over, Pakistan hit back: The wickets of White and Smith leave Australia needing 54 from 21 with just three wickets in hand.
  • Aus
  • 20th over, Ajmal stunned: Australia need 18, Johnson gets a single first ball. Michael Hussey on strike; 6, 6, 4, 6, game over.
Advantage Honours even

Thereafter he did Hussey things, running hard, placing the ball infuriatingly well so that when he prepared his final onslaught - 34 needed off two overs - it wasn't an outlandish task. Aamer was picked up on the leg-side for two boundaries, which sandwiched four hard-run doubles in between in the 19th. When he pulled the second ball of the last over for maximum, the force was fully with him. The next ball went down the ground, then a sliced cut trickled away, and aptly the finish came with the 14th six of the innings.

Until then, it had looked that for the second year running, Pakistan would fell the behemoth of the day in this tournament, with all the assurance of men who know the force is with them. Their run has been the subject of much sniggering but the one truth they have shown about global tournaments and this format is that it is all about timing and they almost got it right here.

Fear had played a huge role in their recent run against these opponents of 11 straight international defeats. It seemed to have been shed by their batsmen initially. Predictably, the Akmal brothers had much to do with it; the elder Kamran took responsibility at the top, before the younger Umar provided an almighty burst at the death.

Clarke, in overcast conditions, decided to bowl first after the start was delayed half an hour; Afridi would have done likewise but they had planned this smartly. His openers decided the best policy against such an attack was to simply bide their time, a plan loaded with as much risk as sense. But after two overs of nothing - as much time as you will get in this format - Akmal went first, choosing to play bad cop to Salman Butt's good.

Dirk Nannes was sliced and then driven down the ground to begin the fun. Butt joined in, taking on Shaun Tait with a brace of typically lush off-side shots and when Akmal ended the over with a pull, Pakistan were beginning to stamp it. For the first time in the tournament, Tait and Nannes had failed to strike in their opening bursts and Pakistan were well on the way to the best opening start against Australia by some distance.

Change came in the bowling, but not the batting. Steven Smith was slogged for 15, Akmal mistiming him straight down the ground for a maximum that brought up the fifty. Two overs later, as he bludgeoned 18 off Shane Watson, lofting, driving and cutting, he was bringing up his own fifty. Every now and again Butt would provide a gentle reminder of his presence, slicing and dicing a cute flick or cut here and there.

Very briefly momentum stalled as the openers went, but it was at this moment Umar decided to show the watching world once again the range of his talent. As sure of himself as a young rockstar, he went at Australia without fear. Intent had been announced with a slog-sweep off Smith and Nannes was then deposited in a similar area for a maximum, before being scooped over fine leg.

A glorious, brief peak came in Mitchell Johnson's 18th over, in which Umar, with all the arrogance of youth, pulled and slog-swept three sixes. A second consecutive fifty came in between the carnage. Even the generally meek Khalid Latif was bitten by this bug, a useful six-ball cameo ensuring that Pakistan pumped it to the end. Australia looked mostly shocked at such impudence, bowling wides, fumbling byes and overthrows.

When Hussey finished it less than two hours later, they were still shocked, only in a very different way.

Osman Samiuddin is Pakistan editor of Cricinfo

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by windmaster on (May 21, 2010, 14:23 GMT)

I think pakistan played really well in the sami final and they were just not lucky enough to win it. Afridi is a new captain and will learn to deal with the pressure.He must continue to lead pakistan and we must provide our support.And guys don't forget"every dog has it's own day" and mike hussey was that dog.

Posted by naeem-butt on (May 20, 2010, 0:04 GMT)

Well played pakistan.I must say that Australians know only pakistan could give them that kind of scare.Saeed ajmal you are still a match winner.you have a long way to go and we know that you can win alot of games for pakistan.you guys played good cricket WELL DONE TEAM PAKISTAN.

Posted by SIREN6800 on (May 18, 2010, 5:11 GMT)

Victory and defeat are part of the game. None of the team in the world has won all the matches or lost all of them. What matters is ?

Wheather competition was tough?. Did both teams gave their 100 percent? Did coaches prepared their game plan well? Did players played as a unit? Did captains acted according to their game palns?

Answer to first three is affirmative, however the last one is a moot question. Clarke was never able to stop Pakistanis slogging on all four side of wickets especially from Umar Akmal. His Plan B never worked. On the other hand Afridi fought well untill the eighteenth over, however his body actions revealed at this stage that match is slipping out of his hand, and even cameraman showed him nail bitting at this stage.Moreover he failed to bring his plan B , neither he was tipped from sidelines.Rather coach was holding his head with both hands. This is the difference between an experienced captain, and well trained professional coach.

Posted by Yousafzay on (May 17, 2010, 7:49 GMT)

Please I will request PCB to pay attention to this semifinal.Afridi is good cricketer but not good captain, U have watched final between ENG & AUS. Same Batsman and only can get 6 runs in last over.Very bad decision by afridi to bwl last over with spinner and against left hander.Razzak was best choice to bowl last over or they can go with Samee or asif inplace of Hafeez

Posted by   on (May 17, 2010, 2:54 GMT)

real poor captaincy by shahid aFRIDI SAMI BOWLED STUMP TO STUMP AND GOT HAMMERED BY DAVE HUSSEY SAMI DIDNT GO OUTSIDE OFF .I MEAN WHY HE DIDN'T ? WHY DIDNT AAMIR BOWLED THE LAST OVER ALL OUTSIDE OFF ?

" " " IS THIS WAT IS CALLED CAPTAINCY ? " " "

Posted by ice643 on (May 16, 2010, 19:44 GMT)

england thump the ozzies and win the cup.Pakistan could have easily beaten the aussies if afridi had used his brain and given the last 2 overs to Razzaq and amir.The felding was poor as well giving2 runs rather than a single.This is exactly how they played in sydney in winter.they need to bring back younis and get rid of afridi he is no good captain. and to all the indians you are crap even though u have ipl.

Posted by   on (May 16, 2010, 19:40 GMT)

I think its a lesson for pakistani team whoever the captain in future .. never give last over to the spinner, how better he is ... because i remember saqlain mushtaq last over against india in pakistan which he conceded 10. Also a hint for coach, that plz dont watch the match just like the crowd, do analysis and send useful hints ... hussy was all playing leg side and yet bowling on leg side .. cant understand if bowlers are taking sixes n fours why u dont discuss and apply the plan B. No doubt that there are talent in pakistan, but we need better planning, their implementation and tracking .... Good Luck for The Future

Posted by Whisperofdeath on (May 16, 2010, 19:28 GMT)

Even the dump person knew Afridi's plan, to go with Ajmal. I think leader are the one who change their game plan according to the the situation. Though, Paksitan played fantastic game. Actually, loosing with grace is when the battle is like see saw and nail biting one, but till 38 over pakistan was winning no matter what... Abdul Razzaq should be given the last or the penulitmate over. Only that would give aussies surprise...but Saeed Ajmal will bowl the last over no matter what... Well played Australia....

Posted by Stark62 on (May 16, 2010, 9:52 GMT)

Pak played some of their best cricket in months!!!!

But I guess the one tiny difference this year was that Umar Gul (The best T20 bowler) was missing and that made a massive difference.

Just imagine if he was bowling the last over!!!!

Posted by PraWin4U on (May 16, 2010, 6:35 GMT)

First of all i would like to appreciate the way Pakistan came out & batted without fear.. and then good start with the ball as well.. unlike others here i wanted a Pakistan win on that day.. but it was untill gutsy lads Cameron white & Mike Hussey came out & played an astonishing cricket.. whatever the situation is their target is clear.. go at full force & win it for their country.. no single moment of defensive play even they lost half of their side in 11 overs.. this is the way to play a do or die match & the aussies did it.. hats off aussies.. Hussey who carried towels & water bottles as a 12th man!! in IPL for super kings (could u belive it) proved that he is Mr.Cricket & a "freak" as clark mentioned in the post match presentation..

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Osman SamiuddinClose
Osman Samiuddin Osman spent the first half of his life pretending he discovered reverse swing with a tennis ball half-covered with electrical tape. The second half of his life was spent trying, and failing, to find spiritual fulfillment in the world of Pakistani advertising and marketing. The third half of his life will be devoted to convincing people that he did discover reverse swing. And occasionally writing about cricket. And learning mathematics.
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