We were sloppy on the field, but teamwork took us past Pakistan: Finch

Australian skipper Aaron Finch said that despite being sloppy on the field during the first half of the game, it was a complete team effort which helped the side make it to the ICC T20 World Cup final and set up a title clash with the Kane Williamson-led New Zealand.

Finch, who went first ball to Shaheen Shah Afridi but later saw teammates David Warner, Matthew Wade and Marcus Stoinis come up with crucial scores to lead Australia to a five-wicket win against Pakistan in the semifinal here on Thursday evening, said that while the Wade-Stoinis partnership was outstanding, the team was “pretty sloppy (initially)”.

“It was a great game of cricket. The way Matthew Wade held his nerve was outstanding, that partnership with Marcus Stoinis was crucial. I thought we were pretty sloppy; we dropped a couple, though they were tough ones. But what we showed (on Thursday) was that you need all your players, everyone in your 15 to contribute,” said Finch.

Put in to bat, Pakistan piled up a competitive 176 for four thanks to half-centuries from Mohammad Rizwan and Fakhar Zaman, and with Afridi unplayable early on and Shadab Khan producing the best figures in the history of men’s T20 World Cup semifinals (4/26), everything was stacked against Australia.

It was then that Stoinis and Wade came together, scoring 40 and 41 respectively as they scored an unbeaten 81 runs to take Australia home with an over to spare. And while his side was not as his best, Finch felt that the victory was testament to the depth within his squad.

For Wade, the run-chase caps a remarkable turnaround, having been dropped from all three forms by Australia in 2017, only to work his way back into the thoughts of the selectors. That faith has been repaid, and now at 33, Wade was able to reflect on the journey that has taken him to a World Cup final.

“I’m happy I got the opportunity to reinvent myself, go away and come back with more confidence. I really feel like I belong at international level now. I just feel like the older I am, the more eyes wide open I am about the opportunity I got. I don’t know when my last game is going to be, I treat everyone like it potentially could.

“I’m proud that I could come back and hopefully at the end of my career I can look back on nights like tonight and be proud that I could contribute to what we’ve done,” Finch said.