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T20 World Cup semi-finals LOCKED: Australia to play Pakistan, India eliminated

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7th November, 2021
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Australia will take on Pakistan in the T20 World Cup semi-final, with the tournament’s final four officially locked in.

With one final match of the group stage – India versus Namibia – to come, New Zealand ensured Virat Kohli’s team would suffer a shock elimination from the tournament before the final four with a comfortable eight-wicket win over Afghanistan.

The Black Caps restricted Afghanistan, who had a legion of Indian fans cheering them on and looking for a win to keep their own semi-final hopes alive, to just 124 from their 20 overs, led by 3/17 from Player of the Match Trent Boult. They followed up with a nerveless performance with the bat, an unbeaten 40 from captain Kane Williamson and 36 from Devon Conway seeing them home with 11 balls to spare.

>> Check out the full T20 World Cup fixture

Remarkably, a New Zealand victory has now ended India’s hopes of a world cricket trophy in all three formats in the last two years. They famously stunned the powerhouse in the semi-finals of the 2019 ODI World Cup, while they also clinched the inaugural World Test Championship final by eight wickets in June of this year.

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It’s the first time since 2012 that India have not made it to the semi-finals of a World Cup, in either the T20 or ODI formats, while it’s Australia’s first appearance at that stage since the same tournament.

Pakistan also became the only team to make it through the group stage undefeated, claiming top spot in Group B with a 72-run win over Associate nation Scotland. A six-hitting frenzy from Shoaib Malik, who blasted the Scottish bowlers into the stands half a dozen times en route to an 18-ball 54, saw the tournament favourites reach 4/189 from their 20 overs. Restricting Scotland to 117 in response, it sets up a mouth-watering semi-final clash with Australia in Dubai.

Having proven their worth chasing in wins over India and New Zealand, Pakistan have now won two games in a row batting first – albeit against both Associate nations – which should give Babar Azam plenty of confidence in his team even if he loses the toss to Australian counterpart Aaron Finch.

The clash is a rematch of the 2010 T20 World Cup semi-final, in which Australia pulled off a miraculous three-wicket victory thanks to one of the finest innings in the format’s history from Michael Hussey. More than a decade on, three players – David Warner and Steve Smith for Australia, Mohammad Hafeez for Pakistan – will likely reprise their roles in their respective starting XIs.

The Aussies had already secured their place as runners-up in Group A with an eight-wicket win over the West Indies, their impressive net run rate enough to hold off South Africa, despite their impressive win over group leaders England. Eoin Morgan’s team needed just 87 runs to ensure their qualification, and were able to ensure top spot with a minimum of fuss; but falling 10 runs short of the Proteas’ 189 will give Morgan something to ponder after an all-conquering tournament up until then.

The two semi-finals will take place on Thursday and Friday morning (AEDT), while the final will take place on Monday, November 15 at 1am (AEDT) in Dubai.

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T20 World Cup – Semi-finals
Thursday, November 11, 1am (AEDT) – England vs New Zealand in Abu Dhabi

Friday, November 12, 1am (AEDT) – Pakistan vs Australia in Dubai

FINAL: November 15, 1am (AEDT) – TBD vs TBD in Dubai

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