Oz ready to prove doubters wrong

Australia captain Michael Clarke believes his side have proved their critics back home wrong by reaching the semifinals of the tournament. But the batsman insisted reaching the last-four would not satisfy either him or his teammates.

Australia, following mediocre warm-up displays, including a defeat by Zimbabwe XI, have been the dominant side in the tournament proper.
The Aussies set the seal on their place in the knockout stages with a commanding six-wicket win over the West Indies at the Beausejour Stadium, a result that ended the hosts’ participation in the tournament after they were skittled for just 105.
It is all a far cry from last year’s World Twenty20 in England where the Australians were dumped out in three days after defeats by the West Indies and Sri Lanka.
“For the people at home who have doubted us in this form of the game, we’re thrilled to make it this far,” Clarke said.
“We’re excited to be in the semifinals, it’s something we haven’t achieved before, but we didn’t come here to make the semifinals,” he added.
Australia overpowered Pakistan by 34 runs in a group match at Beausejour on May 2, piling up 191 on the back of opener Shane Watson’s 81 before strike quicks Shaun Tait and Dirk Nannes took six wickets between them.
Pakistan, on the other hand, have been far less consistent but their spinners especially enjoyed themselves during a 11-run win over South Africa at Beausejour. “Pakistan are very strong in any form of the game but especially Twenty20,” Clarke said.
Barred from playing cricket in their own country, constantly embroiled in rows and disciplinary problems, troubled Pakistan have somehow managed to reach the semifinals here. Shahid Afridi’s team even lost the first two of their three matches in the Super Eights stage but still made it, thanks to their victory over South Africa on Monday and other results going their way. Now the team have an opportunity to defend the title they won last year in England.
The chance of glory comes just weeks after the end of a woeful tour of Australia, where the team lost all three Tests and five one-day internationals.
The Pakistan Cricket Board banned former skipper Younis Khan and Mohammad Yousuf indefinitely and imposed 12-month suspensions and fines on Shoaib Malik and Rana Naved.
Of the current Twenty20 team, skipper Afridi and brothers Kamran and Umar Akmal were all fined.
“It’s a normal thing for us, going through this kind of situation. The only thing is performance and if we win the games everything will be fine.
“Overall the guys are very confident after the last game and I think it will be a great game against Australia,” he added.
“This competition is very important and we are here to play good cricket and win this competition. Because there is no cricket in Pakistan, we tell the people that we still love playing cricket away and at home as well. We want to see cricket back at home,” he said. — Agencies

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