Yesterday’s semi-final clash between Pakistan and Australia is arguably been the best match of the tournament thus far. The teams going against each other in the semi-finals were initially not the favorites to make it this far. They beat higher-rated teams like India and West Indies comfortably their respective groups. Therefore, to make it this far had in itself caused disbelief for a lot of pundits and fans. Both teams had the necessary momentum with them to pull off a big upset. Both teams had big match-winners in them and on their day, any team could be on the winning side. Unfortunately for Pakistan, it was Australia’s day and they thumped Pakistan in grand style.
The match began with the Pakistani openers doing what they have been doing all through the tournament. Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan got off to a cautious start but ensured that the scoreboard keeps ticking. They put up more than 70 runs for the first wicket. Pakistan did lose Asif Ali and Shoaib Malik cheaply but Fakhar Zaman decided to wake up from his slumber and strike form. He is a big match player and justified why so. He put 55 off 32 balls and talked 4 massive sixes. Pakistan had put up 176 runs on the board which in a world cup knockout game is phenomenal. The bowlers had got the game on a platter.
Alas, the Australian batsmen had different plans. David Warner and Mitchell Marsh got Australia off to a scintillating start and both scored big and quick. Warner was unfortunate to get out on 49 but he had done the needful for his team by giving them a rollicking start. Subsequently, Australia did stumble a bit when they lost Glenn Maxwell and Steven Smith in quick succession. However, once Marcus Stoinis and Matthew Wade were in the middle, it was a sizzling cakewalk for the team. Both batsmen went berserk close to the 18th over. Matthew Wade struck Shaheen Afridi for 3 consecutive sixes to seal the deal and take his team to the finals with an over to spare.
Post the disastrous bowling and fielding performance of Pakistan, the team was brutally trolled on social media. Taunts of televisions being broken by Pakistani cricket fans started doing the rounds. Die-hard Pakistani fans were distraught with their team’s performance. They were expecting Pakistan to march into the finals and bring home the cup. Hasan Ali who had a bad night with the ball and dropped the quintessential catch of Matthew Wade had to face brutal trolling on social media. Accusations of the game being fixed started doing the rounds.
Apart from the Australians, if there was anyone who was happy about Australia’s win then it was the Indian cricket fan. Indian fans were ecstatic to see Australia avenge the humiliation that was meted out to India by Pakistan. The Australian cricket team had the support and the good wishes of all 1.3 billion Indians. India was knocked out of the tournament in the league stages itself but to see their arch-nemesis also return home empty-handed was a source of relief for Indians.
Amidst all the fun and jokes of social media sites, an Indian Twitter user dug out an old video of an Australian cricket fan shouting “Vande Mataram” in a cricket stadium. This video is a few years old but had gone viral when it had first come out.
This video is from January 2021 when India beat the Aussies 2-1 in the Border Gavaskar series. The Australian fan was left impressed by the grit and determination of the deflated Indian team and joined the Indian fans in shouting “Vande Mataram” and “Bharat Mata ki Jai”. This video was reshared by Twitter users as part of poking fun at the Pakistanis to remind them how the Australians had won the game to save India’s pride.