Pakistan vs Australia LIVE: T20 World Cup 2021 semi-final latest score and updates

David Warner and Aaron Finch of Australia run between the wickets

Pakistan take on Australia in the second T20 World Cup semi-final in Dubai International Stadium.

The winner will take on New Zealand in Sunday’s final after a thrilling display from the Black Caps upset England behind some explosive batting from Daryl Mitchell and Jimmy Neesham. Aaron Finch has reiterated Australia’s underdog mindset this tournament, claiming to have been written off by some, with four wins in 15 T20s this year ahead of the tournament in the United Arab Emirates.

After an eight-wicket drubbing against England a couple of weeks ago, Australia rebounded superbly to win their final two Super 12s games and qualify for the final four against Pakistan.

“I think in this format of the game, if you look over the last few series, everyone had written us off by now,” Finch said. “About 10 days ago our team was too old and now we’re an experienced team. That’s just how it all gets portrayed. From day one I’ve had a real lot of confidence in the way that we’ve gone about this with the squad that we’ve got. I don’t think that we’ve exceeded our expectations whatsoever. We came here with a really clear plan to win this tournament, and we’re still alive to do that.”

Follow live score updates and commentary below as Australia and Pakistan battle it out at the Dubai International Stadium:

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Toss five minutes away

After more sparsely populated stands in Abu Dhabi yesterday, full house is expected in Dubai, presumably partly comprised of a good number of expatriate Pakistanis in the UAE.

The toss is about five minutes away.

Pakistan confirm intentions to hold women’s PSL

Pakistan like little more than getting one over India, and it appears that Ramiz Raja has his eyes on beating the BCCI to the punch and introduce Asia’s first female franchise T20 tournament. Along with an imminent Under-19 edition of the Pakistan Super League, a women’s tournament is on the cards…

Potential XI – Pakistan

Pakistan are also likely to stand pat with a tried and tested eleven. Hasan Ali has been the bowler who has struggled most in this tournament but has the fiery character favoured in a third seamer role for which he has limited competition, and his ball-striking adds further depth to a long batting line-up.

Probable Pakistan XI: Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Babar Azam (c), Fakhar Zaman, Mohammad Hafeez, Shoaib Malik, Asif Ali, Shadab Khan, Imad Wasim, Hasan Ali, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Haris Rauf

Potential XI – Australia

It would be a surprise if either side were to tweak with well-honed tournament formulas today but you would suggest Australia are the likeliest to make an unexpected change. Glenn Maxwell’s off-spin has gone reasonably well in this tournament, enabling Aaron Finch to largely stick with his four specialist bowler strategy, but Pakistan are right-hander heavy in their top six and match up well. Marcus Stoinis or Mitchell Marsh may thus have to take more responsibility with the ball but Australia will fear a similar approach from their opponents to that of Sri Lanka, who took more than 50 from the four combined overs from Maxwell and Stoinis.

That fear still should not be enough to see Ashton Agar recalled, with the left-armer’s only appearance of the tournament the tonking by England. If Australia do make a shock change, Steve Smith might be the most vulnerable batter given how others have fired, but that would be a bold decision.

Australia probable XI: Finch (c), Warner, Marsh, Smith, Maxwell, Stoinis, Wade (wk), Cummins, Starc, Zampa, Hazlewood.

Pakistan vs Australia: Looking back

These two have been here before. In 2010 it was an equally favoured Pakistan side that arrived at a semi-final against an Australian side with plenty of questions, with a place in a final against England on the line.

For much of that encounter in St Lucia it appeared like it would be Pakistan advancing, first powering to an apparently well clear of par 191 before tying down Australia through the middle. A strong bowling performance left 18 needed off the last, to be delivered by Saeed Ajmal’s mysterious kinking limbs and with Pakistan firm favourites for the final.

Yet three great Gros Islet launches from Michael Hussey powered Australia into the final, a potentially era-defining Pakistan side left shell-shocked by an astonishing finishing job. David Warner and Steve Smith will recall it fondly; Mohammad Hafeez less so. Another encounter like that remarkable semi-final would provide rather pleasurable fare for the neutrals this afternoon.

Together again

Look away now, England fans of a certain age – Matthew Hayden and Justin Langer are sharing a cricket ground. Australia’s great opening pair are on opposite sides this afternoon, Langer by now a familiar face in overseeing an Australian side increasingly moulded in his spiky image, and Hayden (along with former South Africa metronome Vernon Philander) recently appointed to assist Saqlain Mushtaq in a new-look Pakistan coaching staff for this tournament – and providing insight like this.

Pakistan vs Australia: Unfavoured, but…

Australia has had a complex relationship with international Twenty20 cricket, at times giving an impression of caring little for the newest international format, despite the great riches and resources at their disposal. Before this tournament they would not have ranked as the favourites, with particularly severe questions in balancing a side that has rarely played in its totality and also of the short-form candidacy of some of its established stars.

One great thumping at the hands of the English aside, Australia have rather proved their critics wrong, making safe passage out of a tricky group on account of a solid net run rate. Having spent three years trying to get by with a bowler-heavy strategy Justin Langer switched approach on tournament’s eve, Agar jettisoned from the side in favour of the more part-time stylings of Glenn Maxwell and Marcus Stoinis, lending added beef to a mismatched middle order. It is a strategy that has largely worked – but will be tested today.

David Warner and Aaron Finch will lead the way at the top having each hit themselves back into something resembling form despite indifferent performances ahead of the tournament, and, as is to be expected of Australia, this is a big-match team of big-match players who may just have a tilt at a first ever men’s T20 World Cup crown in them.

Pakistan vs Australia: Are Babar Azam’s side now favourites?

Some of the more cynical Pakistan fans, a cricketing nation that tends to thrive clutching to chaos, have been alarmed by their side’s smooth cruise through the group stages but five reasonably comfortable wins from five have shown what an outstanding collection of cricketers the country is now producing. In Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan they have the tournament’s two most consistent batters while Shaheen Shah Afridi has led the way with the ball, a frighteningly effective new-ball incisor with vicious swing and pace.

Questions have been answered, too, Shoaib Malik and Mohammad Hafeez adding ballast to the middle-order and useful off-spin option, setting platforms for Asif Ali, finally fulfilling his potential international with a succession of towering blows and match-deciding cameos. Haris Rauf and Shadab Khan have returned to the sort of irresistible form that catapulted them into the side in a timely manner and Pakistan look a very well-drilled, well-prepared unit, well-suited to the pitches in their adopted home.

There was a brief scare yesterday when Rizwan and Malik were declared doubts with illness but each have been cleared to play – indeed the keeper-batter is already out at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium for another of those visualisation sessions that went viral earlier in the competition.

Pakistan vs Australia: New Zealand await

Yesterday Abu Dhabi provided drama and a dynamite finish to a gripping affair, and now it is over to Dubai for semi-final number two of the T20 World Cup. Some lusty late-hitting from New Zealand knocked out a fancied England to end Eoin Morgan’s hopes of securing a second global white-ball trophy and charging in to yet another final go Kane Williamson’s Blackcaps, with time to prepare for Sunday’s decider.

Who will they face? Pakistan have been the tournament’s form side, overcoming the usual pre-tournament off-field chaos with a silken run through the group stages. They are the only unbeaten team in the competition with a fearsome bowling lineup supported by a batting order that has clicked into place beautifully, and on familiar UAE pitches they would not be tipped for the crown.

They must get past a team that knows a thing or two about winning crunch knockout games of cricket. When he lights are on no team can rise to the occasion quite like an Australian cricket outfit, and this iteration may not have the formidable air but it is a high-class, highly-experienced unit of winning cricketers who will be eyeing a signature, unexpected success.

Pakistan vs Australia: Expected line-ups

Pakistan: Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Babar Azam (c), Fakhar Zaman, Mohammad Hafeez, Shoaib Malik, Asif Ali, Shadab Khan, Imad Wasim, Hasan Ali, Haris Rauf, Shaheen Afridi.

Australia: David Warner, Aaron Finch (c), Mitchell Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Steven Smith, Marcus Stoinis, Matthew Wade (wk), Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Adam Zampa, Josh Hazlewood.

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