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Pak looks to halt Oz's juggernaut today

After their miraculous entry into the last four stage, defending champions Pakistan face the uphill task of halting the Australian juggernaut in the second semifinal of the Twenty20 World Cup in St Lucia today.

cricket Updated: May 14, 2010 02:51 IST

After their miraculous entry into the last four stage, defending champions Pakistan face the uphill task of halting the Australian juggernaut in the second semifinal of the Twenty20 World Cup in St Lucia on Friday.

Pakistan were pushed to the brink after their one-run defeat to New Zealand in their second Super Eight match but Shahid Afridi's men bounced back to beat South Africa and with a stroke of luck sneaked into the semifinals.

Australia, on the other hand, have crushed whosoever have come under their wheels and remains unbeaten in the tournament so far but that reputation won't count when they take on an enigmatic Pakistan today.

For Australia, their battery of lethal fast bowlers have knocked the stuffing out of the opponent batsman, While Pakistan have an array of spinners who have dominated on the slow wickets here.

Shaun Tait, who has been consistently generating speeds of over 145-150 kmph, and Dirk Nannes have been devastating as a fast bowling pair, as much as Shane Watson and David Warner have been with the bat for Australia and they will hold the key to Australia's success today.

For Pakistan, their spinners - Abdur Rehman and Saeed Ajmal -- could pose many questions to the free-scoring Aussie batsmen on this deck and it will be interesting to watch who calls the shots in this crucial game. Will it be the Aussies pacemen or the Pakistani spinners?

On a man-to-man basis, Australia are a superior lot. They can bat right up to number nine, which is something Pakistan lack. Their fielding too has been outstanding, something which Shahid Afridi's men can't match.

Given the depth and fire power in his side, Michael Clarke is confident of playing the final at the Kensington Oval in Barbados on May 16.

"I would really love to get to Barbados because that wicket will be really beautiful for our fast bowlers. Our batters like a little bit pace to come on to the bat. So who we play will not bother me. I think this game on Friday is a huge game for us. It's going to be tough for us," said Clarke.