Matthew Wade, played the innings of his life to send Australia into their second T20 World Cup final, credited his batting partner Marcus Stoinis for showing him the way to bat on the Dubai pitch in the second semifinal against Pakistan on Thursday.
Wade (41 not out off 17) and Stoinis (40 off 31) shared an unbeaten 81-run stand for the sixth wicket to pull off a five-wicket win over Pakistan.
Pakistan were on top when Wade joined Stoinis in the middle.
“I was talking to Stoinis at the other end and tried to work out what they’re doing. I got a little more pace on than expected, I probably could have used it a little bit earlier, but yeah. Glad to get a couple at the end. There wasn’t a lot of chat before I went in as we lost quick wickets,” he said at the post match presentation.
He smashed three consecutive sixes off Shaheen Shah Afridi in the penultimate over to seal the game for his team.
Australia needed 62 runs off the last 30 balls.
“But when I got out there, Me and Marcus (Stoinis) had batted together in the first game and got some momentum today as well. I was a bit unsure but Marcus showed me the way out.”
“There was one short side and I was confident that if I had to target that then I could pull it off, but it got down to two-a-ball and you had to hit everything in your arc.
“I got a boundary away early on and then stalled for 5-6 balls, but Marcus got the boundary away and got us to a total where I was confident in the last two overs.”
Wade’s knock will be remembered for a long time but he is just happy to justify the faith his team showed in him.
“It hasn’t sunk in but probably when I sit down tonight it might sink in. I was out of the team for 2-3 years, just came back 20 games ago and happy to have repaid the faith.”
Australia chased down 177 in 19 overs.
Skipper Aaron Finch was all praise for Wade and Stoinis.
“Never thought it was in the bag. It was a great game of cricket. The way Wade held his nerve at the end was amazing. That partnership with Stoinis was crucial.”
Both teams dropped catches and Finch said his side will need to better against New Zealand in the final on Sunday.
“We were sloppy today in the field, a couple of tough ones. We need the support of all 17 players to get across the line. We have played some really good cricket in the back end.”
“Teams chasing have been successful. There is no dew, the lights take effect. I was hoping I’d lose the toss, bat first and put up a good score on the board,” he said.
Pakistan skipper Babar Azam said dropping Wade in the third ball of the 19th over proved costly.
The match was in balance before Hasan Ali dropped Wade at deep midwicket.
“I thought we scored as many runs as we had planned in the first innings. I think if we give such teams a chance in the back end, it is going to be costly. The turning point was that dropped catch. Had we taken it, the scenario could have been different.”
On the team’s unbeaten run in the group stage, he added: ” The way we gelled and played the entire tournament, I am satisfied as a captain. Hopefully we’ll learn from this for the next tournament.”
“When you play so well throughout, there were small mistakes that cost us the match in the end. We gave players roles and they executed it really well,” he added.