Pakistan and Australia are set to lock horns in the second semifinal of the 20-20 World Cup. Both teams have played terrific cricket and have the momentum with them. The Aaron Finch-led team though have to be careful of Pakistan pacer Shaheen Shah Afridi. The left-arm bowler has been lethal in the powerplay throughout the tournament.
He has picked six wickets and has proved to be a handful against top teams like India and New Zealand. Finch admitted the powerplay will be crucial, adding they have be careful against Shaheen Afridi.
“The powerplay definitely holds the key,” Finch told reporters. “Shaheen has been in really good form for Pakistan. So that’s going to be a crucial battle, no doubt.”
Shaheen’s three wickets against India were instrumental in Pakistan beating India for the first time in the 20- Over World Cup. He picked up Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul inside the powerplay and later came back to remove the dangerous looking Virat Kohli in the death overs. Babar Azam has used him wisely and the 21-year-old has repaid the faith by picking up timely wickets.
On the other hand, Australia too have good pacers in the form of Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, and Josh Hazlewood. The trio has been effective in restricting teams. Finch lauded the efforts of the pacers and appreciated the bowlers for executing the plans perfectly.
“It’s no secret. Our quicks have done a really good job,” said Finch. “With the new ball, Cummins, Starc, and Hazlewood have been fantastic.
“We’ve been really happy about how they’ve executed and kept the pressure on oppositions. They’re a world-class trio.”
Australia have shrugged off the poor form where they lost two back-to-back T20I series against West Indies and Bangladesh. With four wins, the Aaron Finch-led side are peaking at the right time.