20 World Cup: Australia stun Pakistan to set up final against New Zealand
ICC Men's T20 World Cup, Dubai
Pakistan 176-4 (20 overs): Fakhar 55* (31), Rizwan 67 (52); Starc 2-38
Australia 177-5 (19 overs): Wade 41* (17), Warner 49 (30); Shadab 4-26
Australia won by five wickets
Australia came back from the brink to beat Men's T20 World Cup favourites Pakistan by five wickets in another absorbing semi-final in Dubai.
Chasing 177, Australia were reduced to 2-1 after an electric first over from Shaheen Afridi, before David Warner hit back with a belligerent 49 from 30 balls.
Leg-spinner Shadab Khan checked their progress with 4-26, including having Warner caught behind to leave Pakistan on top.
However, Marcus Stoinis and Matthew Wade mixed six hitting with quick running to take the total to 22 runs from the final 12 balls.
Wade was dropped in the penultimate over by Hassan Ali and then hit the next three balls for six to see Australia claim a stunning victory.
Pakistan had earlier posted an imposing 176-4 from their 20 overs but Wade's brilliance – and some poor bowling in the final overs – ended their hopes of a second T20 World Cup title.
Australia, who have never won the title, will now face New Zealand in Sunday's final.
Follow live reaction to Australia's win over Pakistan.
Very few would have expected Australia – who came into this tournament having lost their past five T20 series and were bowled out for just 62 by Bangladesh in August – to reach the final.
They lost captain Aaron Finch for a duck in the first over, saw key players Mitchell Marsh and Steve Smith fall to Shadab, and luck seemed to be against them when Warner was given out despite replays suggesting he had not edged the ball through to keeper Rizwan.
Stoinis and Wade were excellent. Stoinis overcame his struggles against spin to see off Shadab and Imad Wasim, and he and Wade were content to take risky singles to keep the run-rate ticking over.
They were helped, too, by a below-par Pakistan. Hassan endured a dreadful day with the ball, finishing with figures of 0-44. He bowled the 18th over, which Stoinis swung for 15 runs to put Australia on top.
His drop of Wade also proved crucial. Wade slogged the ball into the air and it should have been an easy catch for Hassan at deep mid-wicket. Instead, he overran and let the ball slip through his fingers.
He could only then watch as Wade swung three sixes away, the final one an audacious ramp that sailed into a silent crowd in Dubai.
It was a stunning victory for a side that, as Finch said, had been written off in the build-up to the tournament.