Former Australian cricketer Adam Gilchrist gave Pakistan a miss while predicting the semi-finalists of the upcoming T20 World Cup in 2020 in Australia. The top-ranked Pakistan side, which recently lost to Australia in the second T20, has a set of new players with Babar Azam leading from the front. Adam Gilchrist picked the 'usual four' - Australia, India, England and New Zealand to make it to the semi-finals of the showpiece event of the shortest format.
“Probably they (India) will be featuring in semi-finals and the finals. I can’t predict who is going to win but I suspect that the usual suspects like India, England, Australia and New Zealand will probably make the long way, semi-finals of course,” Adam Gilchrist was quoted as saying by PTI.
“Pakistan are number one ranked team in the format, so you cannot rule them out. But T20 cricket is a bit of lottery so it is hard to predict the winner until the final runs are scored or wickets are taken,” Adam Gilchrist added.
Pakistan, who are currently the top-ranked T20I side have not had a good time in the game's shortest format so far. In fact, they have not won any T20I series this year. After winning 11 consecutive T20I series under the captaincy of Sarfaraz Ahmed, Pakistan had lost an away series against South Africa earlier this year and were whitewashed at home by Sri Lanka recently after which Sarfaraz was sacked from captaincy and was replaced by Babar Azam in the shortest format. Now, Pakistan cannot win the series, but they can certainly ensure that it ends in a stalemate provided they win the third and final T20I which will be played at the Optus Stadium in Perth on Friday.
Steve Smith had come out to the middle at the fall of David Warner's wicket. Chasing a target of 151, the Aussies had got off to a good start as the opening pair of David Warner and captain Aaron Finch had added 30 runs before the southpaw was castled by Mohammad Amir in the quest of scoring quick runs. Warner's opening partner Finch did not last long either and the hosts were reduced to 48/2. Steve Smith then anchored the Australian run chase as he and Ben McDermott added 58 runs for the third wicket stand before McDermott was trapped in front of the wicket of Imad Wasim. Meanwhile, Smith ensured that the Aussies lost no more wickets as he took the responsibility of scoring the bulk of runs. In the end, his efforts paid off as Australia reached the target in the 19th over. Smith remained unbeaten on a 51-ball 80 at a strike rate of 156.86 including 11 boundaries and a maximum.