Australia v Pakistan, 2nd semi-final, St Lucia May 14, 2010

Michael Hussey seals miracle chase

Michael Hussey was the man in Sydney and he was the man here again, his captain Michael Clarke calling him, justifiably, a "freak," for sealing a miraculous chase of 192 after Australia's top order had fallen for too few. 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. The performance took Australia to the final in Barbados, where they will meet their Ashes rivals England.

Five sixes in five overs from Cameron 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.

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.