Faulkner killed the chase with his 5/27, including two wickets in the final over.
Mohali: Australia nailed a crucial win to keep themselves in hunt for the ICC World T20 semi-finals as they sent Pakistan crashing out in their 21-run Super League Group 2 win at the PCA Stadium here on Friday afternoon.
After putting up a competitive 193/4, Australia found their go-to-man in pacer James Faulkner after skipper Steve Smith (61 not out) and Shane Watson (44 not out) had set the stage on fire. Faulkner killed the chase with his 5/27, including two wickets in the final over, even as Pakistan looked threatening in early stages. They eventually finished at 172/8.
The result has now made the India-Australia match on Sunday — the final league game from Group 2 — a virtual quarterfinal. If Pakistan were having any hopes of keeping their last four chances alive, Australia made sure they stalled all of their plans. Smith & Co. outclassed them in every department giving glimpses of what India can expect on Sunday.
Pakistan began their chase at a brisk pace despite losing openers Sharjeel Khan (30) and Ahmed Shehzad (0) early. Needing to score at a rate of 9 plus per over, Pakistan seemed in hunt till the 10 overs placed at 79/2 but lost the plot hereafter. Faulkner bowled with accuracy and varied his pace to fox the opposition and with Khalid Latif (46), Umar Akmal (32) and Afridi (14) back in the hunt with the scores reading 147/3 in 17.3 overs, recovery seemed impossible.