Aaron Finch returned to form with a timely half-century but finished under an injury cloud as Australia eased to a 42-run win over Ireland at the T20 World Cup on Monday to keep their semi-final hopes alive. Captain Finch’s 63 off 44 balls helped the champions post an imposing total of 179 for five at the Gabba in Brisbane before Australia’s bowlers led by Mitchell Starc terrorised Ireland’s top order on Halloween.
Australia move to second in Group 1 behind leading New Zealand, who have a game in hand, but the hosts missed a golden opportunity to lift their net run-rate above third-placed England after reducing Ireland to 25 for five early on. Nonetheless, with the top two teams advancing to the semi-finals, the pressure is on Jos Buttler’s England to take down unbeaten New Zealand at the same venue on Tuesday.
India lost to South Africa
India suffered their first loss of the ongoing T20 World Cup on Sunday. The team was defeated by South Africa by 5 wickets in a low-scoring Group 2 game. David Miller hit an unbeaten 59 off 46 balls and Aiden Markram scored 52 as the Proteas successfully chased down a 134-run target against India in Perth. It was Suryakumar Yadav's 68 off 40 balls that had helped India post 133 for 9 after skipper Rohit Sharma opted to bat first. After the loss, India slipped to the second spot in the Group 2 table with South Africa claiming the pole position with 5 points. The Proteas have won two back-to-back matches after their first game against Zimbabwe was washed out by rain. Meanwhile, their net run rate (NRR) is +2.772.
On the other hand, India have four points from three games. They had registered consecutive wins before the loss to South Africa in Perth. Their NRR is +0.844. Bangladesh are at the third spot in the table with as many points as that of India but their NRR (-1.533) is comparatively weaker. Zimbabwe hold the fourth spot with an NRR of -0.050, Pakistan are fifth with an NRR of +0.765 and Netherlands take the bottom spot in the table with an NRR of -1.948.
Pak keep hopes alive
Pakistan were once again scrappy with the bat but managed to eke out a six-wicket victory over the Netherlands in the T20 World Cup at Perth on Sunday to keep their slim semifinal hopes alive. The Dutchmen found Pakistan’s world class pace attack too hot to handle on a bowlers’ friendly Optus Stadium track, managing only 91/9 in their 20 overs. The target of 92 was never going to be an issue for Pakistan but even then it took them 13. 5 overs to complete the chase with Mohammed Rizwan managing 49 off 39 balls.
With Bangladesh also getting the better of Zimbabwe in a thriller, Pakistan’s chances of remaining alive in the tournament increased. The full credit for this win will go to the bowlers, who hardly put a foot wrong on the day as Shaheen Shah Afridi (1/19) and Naseem Shah (1/11) choked the run flow in the Powerplay and the Dutch could never break the shackles.
Bangladesh beat Zimbabwe
Bangladesh survived intense drama and a chaotic final over before prevailing by three runs in a T20 World Cup thriller against Zimbabwe in Brisbane on Sunday. Chasing 151 for victory in the see-saw contest, Zimbabwe slumped to 35-4 in the powerplay but Sean Williams’s valiant 64 left them needing 16 runs off the final over from off-spinner Mosaddek Hossain at the Gabba. Zimbabwe scored 11 runs off the first five balls, losing two wickets in the process, but Blessing Muzarabani was stumped off the sixth, prompting celebration in the Bangladesh camp. Replays confirmed Bangladesh wicketkeeper Nurul Hasan had collected the ball in front of the stumps, not behind, before stumping Muzarabani. Muzarabani took strike again to face the free-hit delivery from Mosaddek, but his wild swing did not connect with the ball and Bangladesh went on to register their second Super 12 victory.