Australia eyeing Twenty20 semi spot - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Australia eyeing Twenty20 semi spot

By Philip Henderson 18/09/2007 05:52:00 AM Comments (0)

Australia play Pakistan at the Twenty20 World Championship in Johannesburg on Tuesday knowing victory will likely guarantee a semi-final berth at the inaugural tournament.

After defeating Bangladesh in Cape Town in their first game of the Super Eights stage, Ricky Ponting's side will likely need just one more win from their remaining games against Pakistan and Sri Lanka to feature in the final four.

They come into the Wanderers match full of confidence following emphatic wins over England and Bangladesh, but will also face a Pakistan side riding high after a 33-run victory over the previously undefeated Sri Lanka at Wanderers on Monday night.

Allrounder Shahid Afridi - who Ponting has singled out as a major threat for his side on several occasions at the tournament, although more because of his batting - claimed four wickets in the win.

"You just never know what they're going to do, do you," Ponting said of playing Pakistan.

"Imran Nazeer and Shahid Afridi are probably the two batters who are most unpredictable. Afridi, the last time we played him in Australia, had an unbelievable one-day series. We all know how dangerous he can be."

Australia are expected to name an unchanged line-up from the one which defeated both England and Bangladesh, despite expecting the Wanderers pitch to be more conducive to high scores than Newlands.

The match will be the first for new Pakistan coach and former Australian fast bowler Geoff Lawson against his homeland since taking over the post last month.

While both teams will still have one game left in the Super Eights, Tuesday's match may end up deciding which team finishes top of the group.

First place will play their semi-final in Cape Town on Saturday, with second travelling to Durban.

Australia, who play four of their five group and Super Eights games in Cape Town, would prefer to stay at Newlands for the semi.

The game starts at 2pm local time (10pm AEST).

Also, New Zealand play England in the early game (6pm AEST) with Bangladesh facing Sri Lanka (2am Wednesday AEST) in the second game of the double-header at Wanderers.

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2023 AAP

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