Smith and Faulkner star as Australia knock Pakistan out


Steve Smith and James Faulkner were Australia's match-winners as they knocked Pakistan out of the World Twenty20 and enhanced their chances of reaching the semi-finals with a 21-run victory in Mohali.

Pakistan needed a win on Friday to stand any chance of qualifying from Group 2 along with New Zealand, but fell in short in what could be captain Shahid Afridi's last game at international level.

Smith had failed to score a T20 international half-century since replacing Aaron Finch as captain in February, made a timely return to form by making 61 not out from only 43 balls as Australia posted 193-4.

That proved to be too many for Pakistan, with Faulkner (5-27) becoming the first Australian to claim a five-wicket haul in a T20 international to limit Pakistan to 172-8 and ensure the winner of Australia's showdown with India on Sunday will qualify.

Pakistan welcomed Wahab Riaz (2-35) back from injury and the left-arm quick produced two rapid deliveries to bowl Usman Khawaja (21) and David Warner (9).

Australia were 57-3 in the eighth over when an Imad Wasim (2-31) arm ball clattered into the recalled Aaron Finch's (15) stumps, but captain Smith and Glenn Maxwell combined for a brisk 62-run fourth-wicket stand.

Maxwell launched the expensive Mohammad Sami for a majestic six over long-off and Smith produced an array classy strokes before Shane Watson (44no from 28) did further damage, clearing the ropes three times a day after announcing he will retire at the end of the tournament.

Pakistan needed a rapid start to give themselves a chance of chasing down an imposing target and Sharjeel Khan (30 off 19) struck six boundaries before he was bowled attempting to slog Faulkner.

The impressive Adam Zampa (2-32) got rid of Umar Akmal (32 off 20) and Afridi after they clubbed some lusty blows, then Faulkner sent Khalid Latif (46 off 41) on his way to reduce Pakistan to 147-5 in the 18th over.

Faulkner then become the first bowler to take a five-wicket haul in the tournament as Pakistan folder, leaving a dejected Afridi to made a decision on his future when he heads home after a defeat which will pile more pressure on coach Waqar Younis' reign.