Australia knocked out Pakistan of ICC World T20 2016 on Friday © Getty Images
Australia knocked out Pakistan of ICC World T20 2016 on Friday © Getty Images

James Faulkner’s brilliant spell towards the end led Australia to an incredible 21-run victory against Pakistan in ICC World T20 2016, Group 2 match at Mohali on Friday. This loss resulted in Pakistan’s elimination from the World T20, while Australia’s fate will be decided at the end of their final group match against India which is on Sunday in the same venue. This match might also have seen the very last of Pakistani skipper Shahid Afridi, who has been hinting international retirement at the end of World T20. There were numerous moments that will be remembered for some time, here are the best six highlights from Match 26 of World T20 2016: FULL CRICKET SCORECARD: Pakistan vs Australia, Match 26, Super 10 stage, ICC World T20 2016 at Mohali

James Faulkner’s 5 wickets: Faulkner who has been known to be Australia’s finisher in limited-overs cricket did the finishing job with the ball on Friday. He made the crucial breakthrough in his very first over of the day when he dismissed Pakistan’s opener and then set batsman Sharjeel Khan. Sharjeel who was going after almost every ball got an inside edge that went on his leg stump, thereby giving Faulkner his first wicket of the day. Sharjeel’s had already smashed six boundaries so that breakthrough probably pushed the match in the favour of Australia.

Faulkner was called for his second spell in the 18th over, when Pakistan still needed 49 off 18 balls with Khalid Latif well set at the crease with Shoaib Malik. Faulkner dismissed Latif in the fourth delivery, while Latif tried to go on the leg side; he failed to connect and got his middle stump smacked. The Australian was on a hat-trick when new batsman Imad Wasim was out for a golden duck. He dismissed two more in the final over which saw him on a hat-trick once again. The likes of Sarfraz Ahmed and Wahab Riaz were out on the first two deliveries of the final over. Faulkner also became the first Australian to pick a five-for in a Twenty20 International (T20I).

Sharjeel Khan’s knock: Pakistan have found an explosive opener in Sharjeel. He has managed to give the required starts to his side so far in the tournament once again was watched taking on the Australian attacks. Had he stayed till the end, the result could have gone Pakistan’s way.  He immediately attacked Nathan Coulter-Nile when the latter was handed the ball. Sharjeel smashed three boundaries in the pacer’s first over. Hazlewood who bowled an excellent first over giving only two runs was also not spared. Sharjeel bagged two more fours in his over. It was Faulkner who brought an end to his fireworks in the 6th over when Pakistan needed another 153 off 14 overs. READ: James Faulkner’s 5-for help Australia knock Pakistan out of T20 World Cup 2016

Four singles: The fans went wild when a lethargic fielding from Mohammad Sami resulted in Steven Smith and Aaron Finch take four singles. And to make it clear, they ran quite easily, that moment was one of the best highlights of the match.

Steven Smith-Shane Watson’s partnership: Australia at one point were struggling at 57 for 3 with all the top-three batsmen being bowled. Even the likes of Glenn Maxwell and Aaron Finch did not lats long before the charge was taken by Watson and Smith. They brought up an unbeaten stand of 74 for the fifth wicket that ensured Australia posted a total as huge as 193 in their 20 overs. Smith, who has been struggling to find form in T20Is of late finally scored a second T20I fifty and played a captain’s knock on Friday.

He was well supported by Watson on the other end, who remained unbeaten on 44 runs. Watson, who is into the final leg of his international career, scored a quick 21-ball 44.

Steven Smith’s incredible shot off Wahab Riaz’s bowling: While Riaz tried to bowl a yorker, he ended up throwing a full toss which was smashed Smith over the midwicket. An excellent use of wrists, he hit it so hard, the Pakistan fielders and the crowd were left amazed at it. The social media filled with fans discussing about the shot. The big hitters like Chris Gayle and Glenn Maxwell are usually seen hitting but for a player like Smith going for such a shot was impressive.

Wahab Riaz: The Pakistani bowler who has returned from an injury struck early dismissing the likes of Usman Khawaja and David Warner. Both the batsmen were beaten by Riaz’s Yorkers that smacked their middle-stump. He picked two wickets in his 4 overs giving 35 runs.

(Sakshi Gupta, a reporter with CricketCountry, is a sports fanatic whose mantra in life is “do only what you enjoy.” Her Twitter handle is @sakshi2929)