Wednesday, May 29, 2024

ICC: Team effort carried Australia to the final says Finch

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Photo Credit: ICC

There is a sense that a single player can win a game in T20 cricket, but Aaron Finch felt it was a whole team effort that got Australia over the line and into the final of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021. 

Put into bat, Pakistan piled up an intimidating 176 for four thanks to half-centuries from Mohammad Rizwan and Fakhar Zaman, and with Shaheen Shah Afridi unplayable early on and Shadab Khan producing the best figures in the history of Men’s T20 World Cup semi-finals, everything was stacked against Australia. 

It was then that Marcus Stoinis and Matthew Wade came together, scoring 40 and 41 respectively as they scored an unbeaten 81 runs to take Australia home with an over to spare. 

And while his side were not as his best, Finch felt that the victory was testament to the depth within his squad. 

The Australian skipper, who went first ball to Shaheen, said: “It was a great game of cricket. The way Matthew Wade held his nerve was outstanding, that partnership with Marcus Stoinis was crucial.  

“I thought we were pretty sloppy today, we dropped a couple, though they were tough ones. But what we showed today was that you need all your players, everyone in your 15 to contribute.” 

For Wade, the run-chase caps a remarkable turnaround, having been dropped from all three forms by Australia in 2017, only to work his way back into the thoughts of the selectors. 

That faith has been repaid in spades, and now at 33, Wade was able to reflect with some maturity on the journey that has taken him to a World Cup final. 

He said: “I’m happy I got the opportunity to reinvent myself, go away and come back with more confidence. I really feel like I belong at international level now.  

“I just feel like the older I am, the more eyes wide open I am about the opportunity I got. I don’t know when my last game is going to be, I treat everyone like it potentially could.  

“I’m proud that I could come back and hopefully at the end of my career I can look back on nights like tonight and be proud that I could contribute to what we’ve done.” 

It was tough on Pakistan, who were brilliant for much of the night but just could not break that crucial sixth-wicket partnership. 

Despite looking nervy early on, Rizwan’s 67 was almost enough, with the wicket-keeper’s knock more remarkable considering he had spent the night in hospital with a lung complaint. 

And his skipper, Babar Azam, paid tribute to his opening partner for the way he performed despite less-than-ideal preparation. 

Babar said: “The way he played today was exceptional. When I saw him, he was a little bit down but he said he would play. The way he played, he showed he is a team man and I’m very confident about his attitude and his performance.” 

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