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Wade: Stoinis' innings the turning point

Wicketkeeper believes Marcus Stoinis' composure under pressure was the key to the pair finishing off Pakistan

Deivarayan Muthu
Marcus Stoinis' takedown of Haris Rauf - and not Pakistan's lapses in the field - was the turning point in a wildly fluctuating semi-final, according to Matthew Wade.
Wade was dropped on 12 by Hasan Ali in the outfield when he miscued a slog in the penultimate over of Australia's chase of 177. Wade then hit the next three balls for sixes as Australia snatched victory, with an over and five wickets to spare.
"I don't think any of them [the drop and missed run-out chances] were the turning points of the match," Wade said at the post-match press conference. "I think the way Marcus Stoinis batted at the end, to be honest, was probably the turning point of the match.
"I think when I came out there, he might have hit the spinner [Shadab Khan] for six, the first ball when I got out there. I think that kind of play, in my eyes, he's really gutsy in those decisions that you make out in the middle, win you games. He could've easily blocked that ball he went for, hit a six and then that total comes down a little bit more.
"But I think the turning point of the game I thought was Marcus's over against Rauf. I thought that kind of swung the momentum our way and gave us an opportunity to win the game. It's just an easy thing to do to focus in on missed chances. Yes, maybe it would have gone down late in the last over, but I'm still confident we could have gone home."
Wade usually opens in the BBL, as does Stoinis, but on Thursday the pair sealed a tense chase without panicking. When they came together, Australia required 81 off 46 balls. They finished it off with an over to spare. Wade put down their success to "confidence" and work put in behind the scenes.
"It's confidence, I think. Confidence in your ability to be able to finish the game," Wade said. "To be able to bat with Marcus has been awesome. Obviously [I've] played a lot of cricket with him at Victoria and early on in his career. Obviously saw him grow into the cricketer he is today.
"To go out and bat with him certainly gives you a lot of confidence. I know if I can just hang with him for four or five overs, then he's going to find the boundary. He's too good and strong not to. So, the reason that me and him are working well towards the back end is we know each other's game so much.
"In the optional sessions, the day before the game, you'll find me and Steve Smith and Marcus Stoinis go down again in closed sessions because we haven't got a lot of match practice. It's been invaluable to see what those guys are doing in training, especially Stoiny, work out his strengths, when he's hitting the ball at his best. And he can see me do exactly the same thing."
Wade, 33, admitted that his international career might have been over had he not won the semi-final for Australia. In the recent past, Australia have had other keeping options in Josh Philippe, Alex Carey and Josh Inglis, who was a wildcard pick in the World Cup squad after impressing in the Vitality Blast and the Hundred in the UK. However, the team management persisted with Wade and he delivered under pressure.
"I don't feel like it's on the line anymore so much because I'm not 23 anymore," Wade said. "And if this is it, this is it. It's not really on the line for me. It's going to be all over, I suppose. A little bit, I think... I was a little bit nervous coming into the game and knowing potentially it could be the last opportunity to represent Australia.
"I just wanted to do well and really wanted us to win this game, give us an opportunity to win the whole thing. We have a great bunch of guys in that dressing room and guys that I have played with for a long, long period of time.
"So, yeah, just really I feel like this game was probably hard on nerves than maybe what the final will be because now we're in it. We've got nothing to lose. We're going to go out there, do our absolute best. It [the final] might be my last game too. As I've said to you before in the past, I'm comfortable with it. If it is it, then it's it. I'll play as long as they need me and hopefully, we can win some games while I'm there."
The scoop served Wade well against Shaheen Shah Afridi at the death when fine leg was up in the circle and he pointed out that the shot allows him to manipulate the field.
"I've had those [scoops and laps] for a longish period of time," Wade said. "I've been playing them from early on in my career as well. But, yes, certainly [it] was something I needed to tap back into a little bit more when I'm batting down the bottom.
"It's easy to have the fine leg up a lot of the time at the end, but someone that laps, it kind of opens up the whole field for you. You've got to either have mid-off up or third man up or one of the fielders on the off side. It kind of opens the whole field up for you a little bit."

Deivarayan Muthu is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo