Australia fell to a 32-run defeat in their World Twenty20 Super Eights clash with Pakistan on Tuesday night, although they were able to qualify for this week’s semi-finals.
Chasing a target of 150 to win, Australia collapsed to a total of 7-117 led by Mike Hussey’s 54 not out.
However after reaching 3-45 at the halfway point of their innings, a win was soon out of the question as George Bailey’s side chased down their own target of 112 which meant they couldn’t be knocked out of the top two in their group on net run-rate for the semi-finals.
Australia have scored two wins from their three Super Eights games.
The final Super Eights clash was to be staged later on Tuesday night as South Africa took on India.
Australia are set to play either Sri Lanka or West Indies on Thursday or Friday in the semi-finals and need to do some urgent planning on tactics against spin after Pakistan exposed Australia’s middle-order batting woes.
All seven wickets fell to Pakistan’s spinners.
Offspinner Mohammad Hafeez (2-22) and left-arm orthodox spinner Raza Hasan (2-14) opened the bowling and immediately put a choke hold on Australia’s scoring.
Shane Watson was lbw to Hasan for eight, failing to reach 40 for the first time in five hits in the tournament.
David Warner repeated Watson’s manner of dismissal, missing an attempted sweep and falling lbw for eight to Hafeez.
Offspinner Saeed Ajmal (3-17) removed Bailey lbw for 15.
Cameron White (12) was caught at long-on and Glenn Maxwell (four) went for a big hit and popped a catch to backward point at 5-65.
Australia lost Matthew Wade (13) and Pat Cummins (0) to their tormentor Ajmal in successive deliveries in the 19th over.
Hussey back-cut a boundary at the start of the final over to take the total to 114 and punched the air as Australia celebrated their qualification for the semi-finals.
Pace bowler Mitchell Starc claimed 3-20 in Pakistan’s 6-149.
Pakistan were in early trouble at 2-29 but recovered through the efforts of Nasir Jamshed (55) and Kamran Akmal (32) who shared a third-wicket stand of 79.
It was Starc’s third three-wicket haul in just seven T20 Internationals after making his debut against Pakistan last month.
While Watson (1-23 off four overs) was economical, veteran spinner Brad Hogg (0-29 off three) posed few terrors for Pakistan’s batsmen and young quick Cummins (1-42 off four) was also expensive.