Michael Hussey hit a 24-ball 60 to script a dramatic runchase as Australia snatched a three-wicket victory over Pakistan in the semifinals to set up a summit clash with England in the Twenty20 cricket World Cup here today.
Coming at number seven, Hussey added 53 runs off just 16 balls with Mitchell Johnson (5) and blasted three sixes and a four off Saeed Ajmal in the last over as Australia romped home with one ball to spare.
Earlier put into bat, brothers Kamran Akmal (50) and Umar Akmal (56) slammed blistering half-centuries as Pakistan amassed an imposing 191 for six.
Chasing 192 to win, the Australians were down in the dumps at 105 for five in 12.3 overs with David Warner (0), Shane Watson (16), Brad Haddin (25), Michael Clarke (17) and David Hussey (13) back into the hut.
But Cameron White played a 31-ball 43 cameo, laced with five sixes, to conjure up hopes of a successful runchase and once he was gone, Michael took the responsibility of taking Australia and hit half a dozen sixes and three fours in his 24-ball innings.
Earlier, Kamran and Salman Butt (32) shared a 58-ball 82-run opening partnership to set the tone for Pakistan’s innings after inclement weather conditions delayed the start of the match by half an hour.
After a watchful start to ensure no initial hiccups, Kamran and Butt went hammer and tongs, smashing Dirk Nannes, Shaun Tait, Mitchell Johnson and Shane Watson with casual disdain to reach 40 in six overs.
Kamran set the ball rolling, hitting Dirk Nannes for back-to-back fours at cover and mid-off in the third over.
Butt then used his bottom hand to good use to pick up his first four at cover before playing a striking square cut for another boundary in the third over off Shaun Tait.
Butt meted out the same treatment to Michell Johnson in the fifth over when he danced down the pitch and slammed an outside off ball to point boundary.
With Pakistan going great guns, Clarke turned to spinner Steven Smith but Kamran clobbered the Australian for a our and a six to accumulate 15 runs off his first over.
Shane Watson was in Kamran’s firing line in the next over as the opener plundered a six and two fours en route to his fifty in 32 balls as Pakistan breezed to 81 in nine overs.
However two balls later a brilliant catch by David Warner off Johnson at deep cover cut short Kamran’s journey as Pakistan lost its first wicket at 82 in 9.4 overs.
Butt followed Kamran into the hut when his shot off Smith found Warner in the deep as Pakistan slipped to 89 for two in 11.1 overs.
Three overs later, David Hussey removed skipper Shahid Afridi when he sliced one towards point and Brad Haddin caught it after an almost collision with Watson.
However that didn’t halt Pakistan’s momentum as Khalid Latif slammed a six and a four of Michael Clarke and Umar Akmal repeated the treatment to Nannes in the 17th over.
Nannes got rid off Latif in the last ball but the damage was done by then as Umar blasted Johnson for three huge sixes to take Pakistan to 169 for four in 18 overs and pick up his fifty in 27 balls.
Abdul Razzaq did his bit and slammed a six off Hussey before being run out in the fag end of the match as Pakistan inched closer to the 200-mark.