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Australia Qualifies for Cricket Semifinals With Loss to Pakistan

Australia qualified for the semifinals of cricket’s World Twenty20 competition in Sri Lanka despite a 32-run loss to Pakistan in Colombo.

Australia was 117-7 at the end of its 20 overs, falling short of its victory target of 150. Australia just needed 112 runs to qualify for the next stage. Saeed Ajmal was 3-17 and Raza Hasan was 2-14 to lead Pakistan in the “super eight” match.

The World Twenty20, generally held every two years, is the championship of the game’s shortest form. The Super Eight consists of two groups of four, with the top two teams in each advancing to the semifinals.

Australia joins host Sri Lanka and West Indies in the semifinals. India will play South Africa, which was eliminated by Pakistan’s win, to decide the final semifinalist from Group 2. Either Pakistan or India can advance, depending on the run rate.

“It’s disappointing,” Australia captain George Bailey said. “Pakistan totally outplayed us today. To this point, we’ve been terribly consistent and the goal is to get back to that point.”

Pakistan finished on 149-6 as Nasir Jamshed top scored with 55 runs. He combined with Kamran Akmal for 79 to help Pakistan recover from 29-2 in the sixth over. Mitchell Starc was 3-20 to lead the bowling for Australia, which won the toss and elected to field.

Sri Lanka yesterday beat defending champion England by 19 runs and West Indies defeated New Zealand in a “super over.”

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