Despite a pretty poor performance and a loss, their first of the Twenty20 World Cup tournament, Australia has advanced to the semi-finals.
It was Pakistan that became the first team to knock over the usually big hitting Australians and lucky for the losers their previous two games of the Super 8 round had been big wins which allowed them into the next stage.
Pakistan finished on a very beatable total of 149, but Australia’s effort with the bat was simply disgraceful.
A good opening over provided some positive illusions, but tournament star Shane Watson fell soon after. His opening partner David Warner was quick to follow and it was left to Mike Hussey to try salvage the innings.
Unfortunately, due to Australia’s dominace their middle order hadn’t seen a lot of action at the T20 World Cup thus far and they were far from prepared to carry the batting load. Bailey was dismissed lbw by Saeed Ajmal for 14, Cameron White was caught for 12, Glenn Maxwell lasted just five balls and Matthew Wade made just 13. Hussey’s 54 weren’t enough and Australia fell short miserably, losing 7-117.
Australia will face the West Indies on Friday in the second semi-final. Sri Lanka and Pakistan meet in the first on Thursday.
In the final Super 8 game India beat South Africa in what turned out to be a thriller in an otherwise meaningless game. South Africa had already been knocked out due to previous results, but India was still in with a chance. Unfortunately, their poor fielding meant South Africa reached the run total required to send them too packing.
India posted a gettable 152, but like Australia, South Africa couldn’t bat to save their lives. Some tail end heroics somehow put them in place to steal a moral victory, but it looked over when No.11 Morne Morkel came to the crease with South Africa needing eight off the final four balls. Suprisingly, with the third final ball of the day the giant Morkel smashed an unlikely six. The win was right there, but in typical fashion for a batter so low in the order he was cleaned bowled on the very next delivery. Game over.
Crave has Australian sport covered.
Follow Robert White on Twitter @RobertWhitebrrr.