Pakistan must be sick of Michael Hussey and his superhero abilities. In the infamous Sydney test at the beginning of the year it was Hussey who swung a seemingly lost cause back for to Australia with a masterful hundred, admittedly aided and abetted by Kamran Akmal’s butter fingers and an inevitable Pakistani batting collapse.
Yesterday when Hussey came in at 105 for 5 in the 13th over, with Australia still needing 87 for victory, his quest seemed hopeless. This was despite the best intentions of Cameron White who was trying to repair the damage left by his skipper Michael Clarke. Clarke had inexplicably come in at number four ahead of White and the Hussey brothers and had proceeded to score 17 off 19 balls – hardly what was required when the asking rate was over nine runs per over. In T20 cricket, Clarke is nothing more than a passenger.
When White went down with all guns blazing in the seventeenth over, 53 runs were required from the final 21 balls and at last Pakistan looked like they were going to beat a foe that has spent the last year royally thrashing it every time they met. Yesterday it looked like the slave was going to become the master.
But Hussey was not afraid of this cornered tiger, and took over from where White had left off. From the 19th over bowled by the excellent Mohammad Aamer, Hussey managed to contrive two boundaries and crucially four two’s with a mixture of unorthodox strokes and Usain Bolt like running between the stumps together with Mitchell Johnson. This meant 18 were required from the final over to be bowled by Saeed Ajmal.
Johnson managed to scramble a run off the first ball. And then Hussey went Biff! Baff! Pow! Zap! as 22 runs came off the next four balls. The Australians were jubilant and Pakistan were devastated. Hussey had completed his mission impossible just before the message self-destructed. Incredible.
Hussey is like a chameleon in that his batting seems to have so many different styles. He can be a finisher par excellence like Michael Bevan, a blocker that can bore the pants off you and yesterday his hitting was quite remarkable with his unbeaten 60 coming off just 24 balls with six monstrous sixes. He was only recalled to Australia’s T20 side just before the tournament and now has a strike rate of 150.
So, Australia’s ten man side and passenger captain move on to a tantalising final with England in Barbados. Paul Collingwood will know that if his side get into a matchwinning situation they will never be able to discount the Aussies until the last ball has been bowled. The fat lady had sung and left the building yesterday, but somehow miraculously Hussey was able to get to come back in for an unlikely and awe-inspiring encore.
As well as writing regularly for World Cricket Watch, David Green has his own blog entitled The Reverse Sweep, which is updated daily, and writes a twice weekly column for CricDude. You can also follow David on Twitter @TheReverseSweep.
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