Australian skipper Michael Clarke on Friday described `Mr. Cricket’ Michael Hussey’s match-winning 24-ball 60 runs to put his side into the finals of the World Twenty20 championship as “unbelievable and freakish”.
Speaking to reporters after Australia miraculously trounced Pakistan by three wickets in a humdinger of semi-final here, chasing down 191, the Sydney Morning Herald quoted a delighted Clarke, as saying: “Today is a freakish performance from an unbelievable cricketer in any form of the game. His (Huss) attitude, he just never gave up.”
“Losing three wickets in the first (7.2) overs, it was always going to be a tough chase for us,” Clarke said at St Lucia’s Beausejour Stadium.
“But with the batting we have in the team, how far down in the order we go, you just can’t write us off. We’ll take a lot of confidence going into Barbados. The conditions will suit us more than St Lucia has, with a bit more pace and bounce for both our batters and our bowlers,” he added.
“Our mindset through this whole tournament has been exactly what Huss showed today. We”re never beaten,” he said.
Hussey compared the win to Australia’s victory in the Adelaide Test against England in 2006-07.
“When we won the Ashes Test in Adelaide and I hit the winning runs, I thought that was the best feeling,” he said.
“This one’s definitely up there, maybe even … if not better. It’s the best feeling you can ever have, to hit the winning runs for your country, particularly in such a big game as a semi-final,” he said.
Needing 18 to win from the final over bowled by spinner Saeed Ajmal, Australian fast bowler Mitchell Johnson took a signal of the first ball, and then Hussey fired 6-6-4-6 to post a career-best 60 not out from 24 balls and put his side into the final.
In all, he hit three fours and six sixes and was mobbed by team-mates as Australia finished on 7-197 after Pakistan had appeared set for an upset win, scoring 6-191 against Australia’s highly rated pace attack.
After the win, Clarke said Kevin Pietersen would be the key wicket to nab when Australia take on England in the final.
“He’ll be a big part of the final. If we can get him out early it will hold us in good stead,” Clarke said.
“We’ve just come off one of the best wins of my career so we’re pretty confident. I love playing against England. It’s a great build-up to what’s going to be an amazing summer in Australia. Any opportunity you get to beat England, you look forward to,” he said.
Pakistan coach Waqar said: “When you have such momentum with you, it’s always handy. They (Australia) played like champions,” he said. (ANI)