The 2nd semi-final of the T20 World Cup sees the undefeated Pakistan taking on Australia for a place in the final. As always, Mr. Cricket has you covered with his full preview and betting tips for the clash below!
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Pakistan vs Australia Betting Tips
Friday 12th November, 1.00am (AEDT)
Babar Azam (captain), Shadab Khan (vice-captain), Asif Ali, Fakhar Zaman, Haider Ali, Haris Rauf, Hasan Ali, Imad Wasim, Mohammad Hafeez, Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammad Rizwan, Mohammad Wasim Jnr, Sarfaraz Ahmed, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Shoaib Malik.
What a run it's been for Pakistan in the T20 World Cup so far. They went through the group stage with a perfect 5-0 record, defeating the likes of New Zealand and India as underdogs to finish atop the group.
Skipper Babar Azam has been brilliant with the bat, plundering 264 runs in five innings at an average of 66.0 to lead the tournament. He has not played a lone hand though, Mohammad Rizwan has also chipped in with 214 runs at 71.33.
Pakistan were lucky enough to win the toss in both of their crucial games against India and New Zealand, opting to bowl first. They were brilliant with the ball in both games, restricing the former to 151 and the latter to just 134.
Their bowling attack has been led by Big Bash sensation Haris Rauf, who has picked up 8 wickets while Shaheen Afridi has chipped in with six. If Pakistan are to win this game, those two openers will need to be effective against an Australian top order thats coming into form.
The Pakistanis were dominated by the Aussies in their most recent T20 series, but the one standout with the bat was Babar Azam. In fact, he averages 48.39 in T20 internationals but that number jumps to 69.5 against Australia. Back him to top score for Pakistan.
Azam Top PAK Runscorer
Aaron Finch (C), Ashton Agar, Pat Cummins (VC), Josh Hazlewood, Josh Inglis, Mitchell Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Kane Richardson, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, Marcus Stoinis, Mitchell Swepson, Matthew Wade, David Warner, Adam Zampa. Traveling reserves: Dan Christian, Nathan Ellis, Daniel Sams
Australia bounced back from a disappointing loss to England with back to back dominant wins over Bangladesh and the West Indies. They finished 2nd in Group A with a 4-1 record and while there are still some reservations about their form against the best in the world, their squad seems to be taking shape at the right time of the tournament.
Australia looks like it has settled on Mitch Marsh playing at No.3 and offering another bowling option after the Ashton Agar experiment left their middle order extremely exposed against England. The rejuvinated form of David Warner at the top of the order also takes some of the stress of the middle order.
Bowling is the key for the Aussies though. They possess three of the truly great pacemen of the generation in Starc, Hazlewood and Cummins, an attack that is capable of winning any game.
Starc in particular has been dominant in the past against the Pakistanis. In T20 internationals, he has a bowling average of 21.76 and an economy rate of 7.29. In eight games against Pakistan, those numbers drop to 13.54 and 5.83. His 13 wickets against Pakistan are the most of any opponent.
Starc Top AUS Wicket Taker
Call me crazy but I think the way the groups have played out has worked out brilliantly for the Aussies to make a real run at this. Their real danger team seems to be England, but I think they have the upper hand over both Pakistan and particularly the Kiwis.
England don't fear Australia anymore, that much is clear. But when it comes to Pakistan and New Zealand, there is still that big brother complex that Australia boast over their less successful counterparts.
In their last set of T20 matches, Australia won the three game series 2-0. The two games that they won were by 7 and 10 wickets respectively, and they were well on their way to another 10 wicket win at 0/41 chasing just 107 before rain stopped play. Back the Aussies to win here on the back of a strong bowling performance.