Matthew Wade led Australia to victory in the 2nd semifinal of the T20 World Cup in Dubai yesterday over previously unbeaten Pakistan. Wade’s final three shots were all sixes off 21-year-old phenom Shaheen Shah Afridi to get Australia over the total of 177, which was the highest first-innings total at Dubai during this tournament so far. The Aussies will meet their neighbors across the Tasman Sea, New Zealand, in the final on Sunday. New Zealand beat another previously unbeaten squad, England, in the 1st semifinal, also winning by 5 wickets with an over to spare. Opener Daryl Mitchell was the star in that game, finishing with a four off Chris Woakes for an unbeaten 72. Neither team has ever won a T20 World Cup.
The WBBL is into the 12th round with Renegades, led by a rampaging Harmanpreet Kaur, still atop the table. The 2nd “Melbourne Derby,” to have been held in Adelaide (the first was also in Adelaide – thanks, COVID! – on November 7th, won by Renegades), was rained off, as was a Perth Scorchers/Sydney Thunder match, but several other Adelaide games did get results. Issy Wong followed up a 3-2-8-0 spell of bowling with a 43 off 17 in Thunder’s loss to Adelaide Strikers. Laura Wolvaardt finally got going in that one to win Player of the Match with 54 off 32.
The Sheffield Shield has Victoria at 2-0 in the early going, and in the Marsh Cup, Western Australia leads with 9 points off their first three matches.
West Indies women took a 2-0 series victory in their tour of Pakistan. They’ve won by 45 and 37 runs in the opening two ODIs and will play a dead rubber Sunday in Karachi.
The USA has qualified for the next interminable round of qualifiers for the 2022 T20 World Cup to be held in Australia. They are undefeated at 5-0 in the ICC T20 World Cup Americas Region qualifier. They beat Canada in spectacular fashion, in an ending you really need to watch: https://twitter.com/usacricket/status/1458620910924185604. To break it down, Ali Khan had just come in at 10 after the USA lost their 8th wicket. There was only one ball left and USA was down two runs. Rusty Theron was the non-striker. Jatinder Matharu was bowling for Canada. Matharu bowled the final ball right by Khan, who swung and missed and then took off for the other end while Theron ran to the strikers end. Canada keeper Navneet Dhaliwal ran to the stumps, but Theron made it over the line before Dhaliwal took off the bails, and the call was not out. Dhaliwal inexplicably dropped the ball and started celebrating instead of holding his ground to prevent the second run, and Theron made the incredibly heads-up call to Khan to take the second run that Canada had gifted them. Canada finally figured out what had happened and barely managed to prevent the USA getting a third run, which ended the game in a tie and brought on a super over. The USA easily won the super over 22-14. This rivalry has had a number of spectacular finishes in 177 years, but this one will be almost impossible to top.