The Venue: Beausejour Stadium, Gros Islet, St Lucia
The Occasion: 2nd Semifinal, T20 World Cup, Pakistan vs Australia
The Scene: Chasing an improbable 192 runs to secure a spot in the finals, Australia, thanks to mind-numbing blitzkrieg from Michael Hussey, are at the threshold of proving to the world, yet again, the “Never say die” Aussie attitude.
The Equation: Australia are 187/7 off 19.3 overs. 5 runs required off 3 balls, off a so-far-very-ordinary Saeed Ajmal over with M. Hussey on strike (having just got to his fifty by hitting yet another thunderous swipe for a six).
19.4: S. Ajmal to MEK Hussey: OUT. Would you believe it?? Unbelievable scenes here. Umar Akmal, you beauty!! You can’t keep this fella out of the action, can ya? What immense drama here. It was a length delivery outside off stump, Hussey slashed out at it and edges it towards backward point fielder . It looked to be going over the leaping fielder but he taps the ball up and catches it while falling down to the ground. It was that close. It was that dramatic.
MEK Hussey c Umar Akmal b Saeed Ajmal 50 (23b 2×4 4×6)
Shaun Tait is the new man. What can he do now? 5 required of 2 balls. Ajmal chooses to come over the wicket for the right handed batsman.
19.5 S. Ajmal to S. Tait 2 runs. Madness, what’s happening out there?? Pakistan needed to keep their nerves but don’t. It was the doosra and Tait somehow manages to put bat to ball and stabs it towards cover. Mitchell Johnson is already half way down the pitch. Tait hasn’t moved an inch. Afridi swooped in from cover and he could have easily run to the non-striker end and got the run out, but chooses to make a throw instead. The bowler was not backing up and the ball runs towards the boundary. The long on runs and cuts it off and throws it back. The batsman gets 2 runs off the overthrow!!!!!
Just 3 required. 1 ball to go. Can’t afford to bowl a no ball or a wide here. Afridi walks up to Ajmal and there is a mid pitch conference. The wicket-keeper Kamran Akmal joins in too. Only the required 4 fielders inside the circle. Everybody else on the boundary. There is a deep midwicket, wide long on, straight-ish long off, deep fine leg and a deep sweeper at the cover boundary. Here we go!
19.6 S. Ajmal to S. Tait. 1 run, OUT! Pakistan have done it. They are back in the finals of the T20 World Cup. It was bowled flat and at the block hole. Tait somehow manages to scoop it towards long on. Abdul Razzaq raced towards it and in one full swoop, rocketed a throw to the striker’s end, to find Tait short. The appeal went upstairs, but from the looks on Tait’s face, he didn’t make it! Yep, there is the confirmation.. OUT. Only by about a foot.
SW Tait Run Out (A. Razzaq) 3 (2b 0x4 0x6)
Pakistan dugout bursts on to the field and Mike Hussey, with pads and helmet still on, has an empty look. Poor fella.. He did everything he could and brought Australia to the doorstep. Pakistani players jump on each other in a pile. Tait and Johnson shake hands with the umpires and wait for the Pakistani players. Australia file out of their dug out on to the field. The fans are going absolute bonkers in the stands. There is dancing, cheering and running around.
Pakistan will now face England in the Final on Sunday! Be there, or be square.