Australia wicketkeeper-batter Matthew Wade has denied the notion that a dropped catch by Hassan Ali played a key role in his team’s 5-wicket win over Pakistan in the second semi-final of the ongoing ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021 in Dubai on Thursday (November 11).
Wade has insisted that Australia was “really in a good position” and that even if his catch had been taken by Ali, Australia would have managed to beat Pakistan in the semi-final on Thursday.
Coming to the catch, Hassan dropped a not-so-difficult catch at the mid-wicket boundary in the third ball of the penultimate over, and it made things worse for Pakistan, as Wade hit three consecutive sixes to take his team over the line with six balls to spare in Dubai.
Notably, Marcus Stoinis (40*) and Wade (41) put on an unbeaten stand of 81 to pull off the chase, apart from David Warner’s knock of 49 off 30 balls against Pakistan on Thursday.
Wade said at the post-match press conference: “It’s hard to say. The dropped catch, I’m not sure. I think we needed 12 or something, 14 maybe at that stage. I felt like the game was starting to swing in our direction at that stage anyway.”
He added, “I get out there and we’re not sure what’s going to happen, obviously, but I would still be pretty confident with Pat (Cummins) coming in and Marcus (Stoinis) still at the crease, that we could have got the job done anyway. I wouldn’t say that was the reason why we won the game.”
On the dropped catch, the Aussie added: “By the time the catch went down. I was pretty confident we were in a really good position to get the runs. If that had happened three or four overs beforehand, that would dictate the outcome of the game a little bit more. You can focus in on the things that happen really late in the game, but there’s plenty of things that go on without it — throughout a whole game that can dictate a little bit.”
The 33-year-old said his experience came helped him while handling the tense chase against Pakistan at the packed stadium in Dubai.
He added, “It certainly helps. Just to be in that situation, experience is key in these games even though we lost a few early wickets and things weren’t going our way early.”
Wade continued, “There was no real panic in the dressing room. We’ve got experience the whole way down. And the same with the ball. At times it felt like we were going for 12 and 13 and over. With this crowd, it felt like we were behind the game the whole time, but you look at the ball it was seven, eight, nine, and over. It wasn’t like we were getting put all over the park.”
Pakistan also missed three run-out opportunities during the game but Wade again said his team’s positive approach led the side to the final.
The left-hander added, “I don’t think any of them were the turning points of the match. I think the way Marcus Stoinis batted at the end, to be honest, was probably the turning point of the match. I think the turning point of the game I thought was Marcus’s over against Rauf. I thought that kind of, swung the momentum our way and gave us an opportunity to win the game.”
He signed off by saying, “It’s just an easy thing to do to focus in on missed chances. Yes, maybe it would have gone down late in the last over, but I’m still confident we could have gone home.”