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Pakistan vs Australia Live Match NSW School
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Pakistan vs Australia Live Match

The pair face off in the second semi-final in Dubai on Thursday to play for a place in Sunday’s showpiece against New Zealand.

But if Australia are to get there they will have to find a way past the form team of the tournament in Babar Azam’s Pakistan.

The Group 2 winners dismantled India in their opening match of the tournament to set the tone for an outstanding campaign, following that up with another comfortable win over their potential final opponents New Zealand.

And Pakistan, inspired by their skipper’s four half-centuries in the Super 12 stage, cruised through as Group 2 winners with further wins over Afghanistan, Namibia and Scotland. They are now looking to achieve what no team ever has: win the the Men’s T20 World Cup without suffering a single defeat.

“Yeah, Pakistan have played brilliant cricket,” Thursday’s opposing captain Aaron Finch said told the world’s media.

“I think the way that they’ve gone in the powerplay with the bat and ball has been really crucial to their success

“But it’s interesting how the narrative can change really quick. 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.

A heavy loss to England aside, Finch’s Australian team were quietly impressive throughout the group stage, with their top-order power and range of bowling options proving more than enough to see off West Indies, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and South Africa.

Thursday’s semi-final opponents will be a step up from that level, but Finch’s “experienced” outfit have it in them to spoil Pakistan’s party.

Both teams are expected to be unchanged after settling on winning formulas through the group stage.

Australia’s one potential switch would be to add some bowling depth by replacing Mitchel Marsh with Ashton Agar, but the one time that option was tried in the Super 12 stage it failed to trouble England, so Marsh’s place is likely secure.

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

Pakistan’s serene progress through Group 2 is likely to result in them sticking with the same XI.

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

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