Showering praise on Matthew Wade’s match-winning blitz against Pakistan in the T20 World Cup, star Australia opener David Warner has said he could never imagine himself hitting the kind of six that Wade hit. In the semi-final contest of the T20 showpiece event, Wade slammed three consecutive maximums off Shaheen Afridi en route to his unbeaten 17-ball 41, helping Australia inch closer towards adding one more piece of silverware in their trophy cabinet.
Evoking memories of Michael Hussey’s famous 24-ball 60 versus Pakistan, Wade emerged as an unlikely hero for Australia. He teamed up with Marcus Stoinis, who finished unbeaten on 40 from 30 deliveries as Australia hunted down the 177-run target with an over to spare.
The Aussies then beat New Zealand by eight wickets in a lop-sided final to clinch their maiden T20 World Cup trophy. “In those situations, I can’t play the shot that he plays. If I was out there, I would never have hit that six because I can’t play that shot. Having a guy like him to come in like he did…” said Warner on Backstage with Boria show.
“Specifically in Australia, they wrote Matthew Wade and Marcus Stoinis off. They said they can’t win games for Australia. Yes, they can. They won the biggest game for us.”
Wade was dropped on the third ball of the 19th over by Hasan Ali in the deep mid-wicket region, which turned out to be a major event. With Australia needing 18 off 9 balls, the left-hander then ramped Afridi over fine-leg, flicked the slower one over deep square leg in the next ball and then ended with another ramp shot — completing a hat-trick of maximums.
Before Wade and Stoinis added 81 for the sixth wicket to seal the final berth for their side, it was Warner the set the tone with a brilliant 49 off 20 balls, which was laced with three fours and as many sixes.
“The one thing that stood out for us was, and this is no disrespect to Shaheen, experience plays a big role in big games. Matthew Wade, he will always ramp. Shaheen Afridi’s best delivery is going to be a yorker. If he misses his yorker, and if Wade hits him behind (the wickets), even with a fielder back, it’s going to go for six because he is bowling at 150 kph. If you don’t execute it properly, you are going to drop it short. That’s exactly what he did,” Warner further said.