In what will go down as one of the great moments of T20 cricket – for Australian fans at least – Michael Hussey pulled Australia from the grip of almost certain defeat and hurtled them into the ICC T20 World Cup final.
The match having been delayed by rain, Michael Clarke opted to bowl first when the toss went his way. No doubt he had half a mind on the dodgy dealings of Messrs Duckworth and Lewis on the twenty over game. Of course, it didn’t hurt that he knew he had a fearsome bowling attack at his fingertips.
Pakistan has lost to Australia so many times in the last six months, and very unlucky they were at times, that they seemed determined it would not be happening again. The Akmal brothers grabbed the Aussie bowlers and shook them by the neck until they cried. And when it was over, with Umar the Pakistani number three, not out on 56 and a whopping total of 191, the Australian fans were justified in wondering what the hell their bowlers had been doing.
And it didn’t end there. The Australian top order wobbled and fell shamefully; Warner went for a duck, Watson went for 16 and until Cameron White hit the crease no one got more than 25 runs.
White did what white does – he smacked the ball all over the park, but by now it looked as though he was fighting a losing battle. When he fell, for 43, televisions and radios all over Australia were turned off. Fans went to bed. It was all over.
Now, if there’s one thing all Australians should know it’s that you can never discount a Hussey. Both David and Michael have, on several occasions in this tournament only, proved they are worth their weight in gold. It was the turn of the elder brother this time. Michael Hussey: veteran cricketer, adored and worshipped by everyone born west of the Nullarbor and revered by everyone else. Hussey reminded Pakistan, and the rest of the cricketing world, that if you push Australia’s back against the wall, be prepared to see it through to the end because they are always capable of coming back fighting.
Hussey’s innings of 60 off 24 balls, including 53 runs off the final three overs, will be remembered for years to come as nothing short of a miracle. He took Australia to 197 and into the final. Let’s not discount the efforts of Mitchell Johnson, who kept getting the important singles to keep Hussey on strike or Cameron White, who started the fightback, but Mike Hussey is the man that Australians want knighted today.
I could go on like this for a while, but I’m still recovering from the excitement of it all. The question now is if Australia can beat England, who have looked strong all round? After that last performance – damn right they can!
Be afraid, England. Be very afraid.
(As the youngest of five children, and with three older brothers, Kirby grew up in a house full of people who love Australian cricket, Geelong football club and rich tea biscuits. She was doomed from birth to wear the green and gold. As an adult she moved to the UK in an attempt to save England cricket fans from themselves, but in return they stole the Ashes. Twice. She firmly believes that Steve Waugh should be knighted, Graeme Swann should be castrated and Nathan Hauritz should be her pet. She blogs over at thoughtsfromthedustbin.blogspot.com)