Pakistan were the most highflying team through the group stages and won all of their five matches, with a different player taking the center stage on each occasion and delivering something special to go with the usual, consistence and nonchalant brilliance of their captain Babar Azam.
This team has shown that it can find batting heroes elsewhere, on day Babar and his partner in crime, Mohammad Rizwan, do suffer a rare bad day at the office.
The Green Shirts have been full of confidence in every game but should be a little worried about the prospect of Australia – a side they have never beaten in the knockout stages of any form of the world cup.
Since 1975, the Kangaroos and the Men in Green have clashed a number of times in elimination games and each time the side from Down Under came out on top.
Pakistan supporters can give the argument that the same was said about India and look how they were beaten in their tournament opener. That, and the fact that this Australian side is perhaps the weakest they’ve ever faced should give them comfort.
Australia were lucky to sneak into the semis as South Africa, too, had the same number of victories and points (four and eight respectively), but their better net run rate got them through.
The star of their campaign has been Adam Zampa, who claimed a five-for against Bangladesh and retired the notion that Aussie spinners cannot win matches against Asian sides in the UAE. Josh Hazlewood has had some joy as well.
David Warner, whose horrible IPL had fuelled talks that he may not have anything left in the tank anymore, has also found some runs and currently sits at number eight position in the tournament’s scoring chart.
In their last game, Australia defeated the West Indies convincingly. Warner’s unbeaten 89 was the highlight of the day, although Hazlewood’s four-for also deserves a mention.