Aussies weather Pak fightback

Hazlewood grabs four wickets while Smith and Watson slam half-centuries as hosts march into semis

Aussies weather Pak fightback

Australia overcame a fiery spell from fast bowler Wahab Riaz to record an entertaining six-wicket win over Pakistan in the World Cup quarterfinal at the Adelaide Oval on Friday.

The co-hosts, chasing Pakistan's modest 213 all out, were reduced to 59 for three in the 11th over before Steve Smith (65) and Shane Watson (64 not out) swung the match around with a fourth-wicket stand of 89.

Glenn Maxwell smashed an unbeaten 44 off 29 balls with five fours and two sixes as Australia recovered to coast home in the 34th over in front of a full house of nearly 47,000 spectators.

Watson hit the winning boundary after a tense start to Australia's chase saw left-armer Wahab remove David Warner and skipper Michael Clarke in his first two overs. But two dropped catches cost Pakistan dearly.

Australia's eighth consecutive win over Pakistan on their own soil set up an enticing semifinal clash against defending champions India at the Sydney Cricket Ground on Thursday.

Pakistan's defeat ended the one-day international careers of two veterans in captain Misbah-ul Haq and all-rounder Shahid Afridi.

Pakistan, who won the toss and elected to bat, were shot out for 213, with one ball to spare, as fast bowler Josh Hazlewood grabbed four wickets and Mitchell Starc and Glenn Maxwell took two each.

Haris Sohail's 41 was the top score. Three other batsmen settled down to reach 20 but were unable to build on their starts. If Australia expected an easy chase, Wahab provided a rude shock with a hostile opening spell of two for 24 in six overs.

However, it was right-arm seamer Sohail Khan who gave Pakistan an opening by trapping Aaron Finch leg-before in the third over.

Wahab, brought into the attack in the ninth over as the fourth bowler, struck with his third legal delivery by having the dangerous Warner caught at third man.

Warner made 24 off 23 balls when he attempted to slash a short ball and Rahat Ali took a well-judged catch running in from the boundary.

Wahab removed Clarke in his next over as the Australian captain fended at a short ball and lobbed an easy catch to Sohaib Maqsood close to the wicket on the on-side.

Watson was greeted to the wicket with a barrage of short-pitched deliveries from the fired-up Wahab, one of which nearly cost him his wicket when he was on four.

The all-rounder hooked a bouncer high to fine-leg where Rahat got under the ball but dropped the catch to loud groans from the Pakistani fielders and supporters in the packed stands. The pressure eased as a tiring Wahab was taken off after his sixth over, allowing Smith and Watson to build a partnership that the foundation for ans Australian win.
Score board

PAKISTAN
Shehzad c Clarke b Hazlewood    5
Sarfraz c Watson b Starc    10
H Sohail c Haddin b Johnson    41
Misbah c Finch b Maxwell    34
Akmal c Finch b Maxwell    20
Maqsood c Johnson b Hazlewood    29
Afridi c Finch b Hazlewood    23
Riaz c Haddin b Starc    16
Adil c Starc b Faulkner    15
Sohail K c Haddin b Hazlewood    4
Rahat (not out)    6
Extras (LB-5, W-5)    10
Total (all out, 49.5 overs)    213
Fall of wickets: 1-20, 2-24, 3-97, 4-112, 5-124, 6-158, 7-188, 8-188, 9-195.
Bowling: Starc 10-1-40-2, Hazlewood 10-1-35-4, Johnson 10-0-42-1, Maxwell 7-0-43-2, Watson 5-0-17-0, Faulkner 7.5-0-31-1.     
         
AUSTRALIA

Warner c Rahat b Riaz    24
Finch lbw Sohail K    2
Smith lbw Adil    65
Clarke c Maqsood b Riaz    8
Watson (not out)    64
Maxwell (not out)    44
Extras (W-9)    9  
Total (for 4 wkts, 33.5 overs)    216
Fall of wickets: 1-15, 2-49, 3-59, 4-148.
Bowling: Sohail Khan 7.5-0-57-1, E Adil 5-0-31-1, Rahat Ali 6-0-37-0, Wahab Riaz 9-0-54-2, Shahid Afridi 4-0-30-0, Haris Sohail 2-0-7-0.
 

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