Australia today knocked Pakistan out of the ICC World Twenty20 with a convincing 21-run victory, setting up a virtual quarterfinal against hosts India to be played here on Sunday.
Captain Steven Smith (61 not out off 43) and Shane Watson (44 not out off 21) hammered 74 off the last 38 balls to take Australia to 193 for four. Pakistani batsmen faltered once again barring a decent effort from Khalid Latif (46 off 41) and Shoaib Malik (40 off 20) to end at 172 for eight.
All-rounder James Faulkner starred with ball, becoming the first Australian to take five wickets in the shortest formant. Australia, who have now two wins from three games like India, meet the home team in a match that decides the number two team that goes into the semifinals alongside leaders New Zealand.
The steep chase was another chance for Pakistan batsmen to redeem themselves after they let the team down in the previous two matches. The start was not promising with both the opener back in the hut inside six overs.
Ahmed Shehzad lasted only six balls while Sharjeel Khan, who was the lone bright spot against New Zealand, dragged one on to his stumps off Faulkner after smashing six boundaries at the Punjab Cricket Association Stadium. Umar Akmal and Khalid Latif shared 45 runs for the third wicket before Zampa found the middle stump of Ukmal with a flighted delivery, reducing Pakistan to 85 for three.
It was a Herculean task for Latif and Shahid Afridi to pull off. They infused life into the contest with some crisp hitting but the one big partnership that the team needed remained elusive. Afridi, in what could be his final knock before retirement, departed in his usual style, having got out stumped after smashing 14 off 7 balls.
Latif and Shoaib Malik were left to get 69 off the last five over, which proved to be too much in the end. Earlier, pacer Wahab Riaz provided the early and important wickets of Usman Khawaja (21) and David Warner (9) before Smith and Watson took the Pakistani attack to the cleaners.