Australias Michael Hussey hits out. -Photo by Reuters

GROS ISLET Michael Hussey smashed three sixes in four balls to lead Australia to a remarkable three-wicket win over Pakistan in the last over of Fridays Twenty20 World Cup semi-final in St Lucia.


Hussey hit six sixes in all to finish with an unbeaten 60 in just 24 deliveries as Australia passed Pakistans 191 for six, the joint second highest score of this tournament, with a ball to spare to clinch a final meeting with England on Sunday.


Australia were in trouble at 62 for four in the ninth over but then Cameron White blasted five sixes in his 43 off 31 balls to get his side back in the game.


When White went in the 17th over it still looked a long shot for Michael Clarkes men with 53 needed from 3.3 overs.


That was reduced to 34 off two overs and then 18 from the final over by spinner Saeed Ajmal. 


Mitchell Johnson pushed a single to give Hussey the strike and the left-hander responded with some astonishing batting.


He pulled a quicker short ball over the mid-wicket boundary and then blasted the next delivery way over long-on.


Hussey followed up by slashing a four backward of point before whacking the penultimate delivery for another six over long-on.


“By the end I was just swinging through the ball there ... it was probably one of the best innings of my life,” said Hussey.


Earlier, brothers Kamran and Umar Akmal both scored fifties as defending champions Pakistan set Australia an imposing 192 to win their World Twenty20 semi-final here on Friday.


In an innings that began with a Dirk Nannes maiden, opener Kamran made exactly 50 before big-hitting younger brother Umar followed up with a blistering 56 not out as Pakistan made 191 for six.


Pakistan, sent in by Australia captain Michael Clarke after rain delayed the scheduled start and threatened to bring the Duckworth-Lewis system, thought to favour the side batting second, into play, made a fine start.


Kamran Akmal and left-hander Salman Butt (32) shared a first-wicket stand of 82 as Australia's pace trio of Nannes, Shaun Tait and Mitchell Johnson failed to make an early breakthrough.


That gave Pakistan the platform to cash in against Australia's second-string bowlers with all-rounder Shane Watson's two overs costing 26 runs and leg-spinner Steven Smith conceding 23 from two.


Even Australia's normally fine fielding became ragged by the end, with usually tidy keeper Brad Haddin conceding 10 byes in an extras total of 20.


Nannes's second over saw the match's first boundaries when Kamran Akmal, stepping away to leg, lofted him high over the covers.


Next ball Akmal drove Nannes straight down the ground for another four.


Butt then twice square cut Tait for two boundaries in as many balls.


Akmal then pulled Tait down to fine leg as 13 runs came in the fourth over.


First change Johnson, like Nannes a left-arm quick, was then carved high over point by Butt.


At the end of the six-over powerplay, Pakistan were 40 without loss.


It was then that Clarke turned to Smith and his third ball was edged over short third man for four by Akmal.


But a far cleaner strike off the bowler's fifth delivery saw Akmal clear long-off with a six as Pakistan took 15 runs off the over.


Smith was replaced after an over by Watson but his first ball back was driven for a huge straight six by Akmal.


Akmal, giving himself room, then cover-drove the fifth ball of the over from the all-runder for four and, off the last, cut the medium-pacer for another boundary to complete a fine fifty, his fifth at this level, off just 32 balls with two sixes and six fours.


But Akmal was out for exactly 50 after David Warner, running round from the extra-cover boundary, took a fine diving catch off Johnson.


At the halfway mark Pakistan were well-placed for a large total at 85 for one and it, seemed that, at the very least, this would now be a closer match than the first round group fixture between the side that Australia won by 34 runs on this ground.


After Butt was out, Pakistan captain Shahid Afridi and Khalid Latif both fell cheaply but it scarcely mattered as 106 runs came in the second 10 overs.


Umar Akmal smashed Johnson for two enormous sixes, the second a crunching pull over midwicket that saw him to fifty in just 32 balls.


Australia were unchanged from the side that knocked hosts the West Indies out of the tournament with a six-wicket win here on Tuesday.


Defending champions Pakistan were also unchanged from the team that defeated South Africa by 11 runs, at Beausejour on Monday.


Rain delayed the scheduled 11am local time (1500GMT) toss by 40 minutes.


The teams had already met once in this competition, with Australia beating Pakistan by 34 runs in a first round group clash here on May 2.


Australia David Warner, Shane Watson, Brad Haddin (wkt), Michael Clarke (capt), David Hussey, Cameron White, Michael Hussey, Steven Smith, Mitchell Johnson, Shaun Tait, Dirk Nannes


Pakistan Salman Butt, Kamran Akmal (wkt), Mohammad Hafeez, Shahid Afridi (capt), Umar Akmal, Misbah-ul-Haq, Khalid Latif Abdul Razzaq, Abdur Rehman, Mohammad Aamer, Saeed Ajmal

Umpires Billy Doctrove (WIS) and Ian Gould (ENG)
TV umpire Billy Bowden (NZL)
Match referee Ranjan Madugalle (SRI)



Updated 22 May, 2022

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