Morning everyone. South Africa and India are through, and now it's Australia's turn. No surprises in the quarter-finals so far, but Pakistan are always good for a surprise and have won the toss in Adelaide...
PAKISTAN WIN THE TOSS AND CHOOSE TO BAT
calls right at the toss and elects to have first use of what appears to be a cracking Adelaide Oval pitch. Pakistan have already played twice in Adelaide so should be familiar with the conditions.
Aaron Finch, David Warner
, Steve Smith
, Michael Clarke
(c), Shane Watson
, Glenn Maxwell
, James Faulkner, Brad Haddin (wk), Mitchell Johnson, Mitchell Starc
, Josh Hazlewood
PAKISTAN: Ahmed Shehzad, Sarfraz Ahmed (wk), Haris Sohail, Misbah-ul-Haq (c), Sohaib Maqsood, Umar Akmal, Shahid Afridi, Wahab Riaz, Sohail Khan, Rahat Ali, Ehsan Adil
Pakistan are unchanged from the win over Ireland, with centurion Sarfraz Ahmed at the top of the order. They are still without 7ft paceman Mohammad Irfan. Australia swap Josh Hazelwood
for Pat Cummins.
explains that Hazelwood's inclusion is in anticipation of the extra bounce in this track. On that note, Pakistan will miss Irfan, who has been a big part, in every way, of the bowling unit that has helped drag them back into this tournament after beginning with two defeats.
Bowling has definitely been the superior suit for Pakistan. Their batting lineup has shown itself to be pretty fragile, but will need to put a 280 plus score on the board for their seamers to try to defend.
To do that, they will have to see off the threat of Mitchell Starc
. The left-armer has been leapfrogged by India's Mohammed Shami to the top of the wicket-taking charts, but has 16 to his name at a remarkable average of 8.50 and has arguably been the star bowler of this tournament so far.
The two teams go through the formalities of the national anthems. A packed home crowd and some vocal Pakistani fans, expect this to be one of the best atmospheres of this World Cup. Play is imminent.
Australia are firm favourites, and these statistics perhaps reflect why. Australia have won 11 of the last 13 ODIs between these teams, including all of the last four. Pakistan have only won five of their 15 ODIs at Adelaide and just one of the six that they have played against Australia at the venue.
Here we go then. Starc to Ahmed Shehzad. Clarke has just the two slips in place. Play!
Australia are buzzing in the field. Two good pieces of work from Steve Smith at cover prevent Sarfraz, who survives a beautiful inswinger which comes back through his gate, from getting off the mark. Shehzad had previously got the scoreboard moving with a chop down to third-man.
Some swing away from the right-hander immediately for Hazelwood, but one goes straight on with the angle and clips the pads of Sarfraz on its way for four leg-byes. This third seamer role has been Australia's problem area and so Pakistan might be targeting Hazelwood as somebody to attack.
Pakistan have yet to play a shot in anger, but are ticking a long as Shehzed collects a total of four through third-man and Sarfraz flicks Starc off his pads for two. Starc is already touching 150kmph.
The lumbering Hazelwood has been just a little short, but his line has been fine so he has gotten away with it so far. It is a sensible approach from this Pakistan batting lineup to begin cautiously, but they need to ensure that they are at least rotating the strike if they are not finding the boundary.
WICKET! SARFRAZ AHMED caught WATSON bowled STARC 10(16)
Number 17 for Starc, and this time he has a big helping hand from Shane Watson at slip! The ball after pulling the first boundary of the innings, Sarfraz pushes at one outside off-stump and Watson takes an excellent catch diving low to his right at first. Breakthrough for Australia and Pakistan's form man is gone!
Haris Sohail announces himself to the crease with a flashy drive which bounces off the turf and flies over David Warner
at point on its way to the boundary. Talk about a confident start.
WICKET! AHMED SHEHZED caught CLARKE bowled HAZELWOOD 5(13)
Pakistan lose their openers within the space of three balls and jubilant Australia celebrate! Hazelwood gets his length right and induces a loose drive from Shehzed, with Clarke clinging on at second. No foot movement at all from the batsman and Pakistan's brittle top order is in real danger of being exposed.
Captain Misbah-ul-Haq again has the job of stabilising Pakistan, but he is so lucky to still be there himself! Hazlewood hits Misbah's leg stump via a deflection off the thigh pad. The leg bail lights up, but does not fall off! The mechanisms that make them flash also make them a fraction heavier and that is not the first time that has happened in this tournament. Hazelwood thought he had his man, and so did Clarke for a moment!
Misbah will not be afraid to drop anchor here. He knows that he cannot afford to get out in the next 15 overs. Starc digs the ball in fast and short at 151.5kmph and Misbah sways out of the way.
This double early breakthrough tempts Clarke into going on the attack and he has three slips and a gully in for the economical Hazelwood, who has gone for just six from his four overs.
As he has done throughout this World Cup, Mitchell Johnson comes on first change. Misbah survives another scare as he inside edges a drive, with the ball narrowly missing the stumps on its way to the fine-leg boundary. Eight off the over in total as Misbah drops into the leg-side for a couple of quick singles.
Hazelwood goes up for lbw against Misbah, but replays show that umpire Dharmasena was correct in thinking that it was high. A length ball nipped back and struck the Pakistan captain between the knee and the thigh pad. Power play over, and those two wickets mean that it definitely belonged to Australia.
Again Misbah (9 off 23) shuffles across and pushes Johnson into the leg-side for a single. Sohail (7 off 14) has been starved of the strike in recent times and defends the rest of the over.
Hazelwood continues into his sixth over and finally there is some damage done to his figures. Sohail decides that he is not going to simply let the Aussie bowl at him and he clears his front leg to firstly drill him through the vacant mid-off area and then between the two cover fielders for quickfire boundaries.
Sohail is looking assured after those two boundaries, but is unsettled by Johnson's change of angle to around the wicket and a sharp bumper. Brad Haddin has a real chuckle behind the stumps after the wildest of missed hook shots, but all the delivery yields in the end is the fourth wide of the innings.
Maxwell into the attack and Misbah launches the first six of the innings over mid-wicket. The field had spread, but that shot is a sign that Pakistan are not going to simply milk the part-time off-spinner. They need to go on the attack against someone and this is a smart judgement in my book.
The wicket-taking threat seems to have subsided significantly in the last few overs, with Johnson not looking as dangerous as Starc. Shane Watson and James Faulker are Australia's other options.
Sohail shows signs of itchiness as Maxwell initially dots him up, but he manages to get off strike with a single to long-on. Misbah is then beaten by a shrewd quicker ball outside off-stump. Drinks.
A lovely stroke through mid-on brings Sohail three at the start of Johnson's fifth over. Misbah again gets into a bit of trouble trying to drive a wide ball through the off-side, not getting his foot near the pitch of the ball and dragging into square leg for a single. He is 22 off 41 and Sohail 24 off 32.
Misbah again finishes a Maxwell over by smashing him into the stands at cow corner for another six. The captain averages 112 against off-spin in ODIs and I fancy that will be the last we see for a while.
The first of what I suspect will be a double bowling change sees Watson brought on. He goes for four off his first over and nearly gets a wicket as an unnecessary Sohail heave comes off the outside edge and lands short of third-man. Misbah immediately calls him to the middle for a polite word.
Australia's other all-rounder Faulkner comes into the attack as we approach the middle overs. He is more of a containing bowler - the slips are out - and concedes just a single to each batsman.
Watson bowls an excellent surprise bouncer and it catches Sohail out here. A late attempt at a hook loops off the glove and just over the sprawling Haddin. The left-hander responds by lofting a length ball over mid-on. He didn't get all of it, high off the bat, but the ball just about runs away for four.
Faulkner gets a few of his variations out in his second over. He has bowled a remarkable 34% of slower deliveries in this tournament. This important Pakistan parternship goes to 70 off 105 balls.
A good over from Watson goes for just two. His World Cup appeared to be over when he was dropped against Afghanistan, but his bowling gives this Australia side a much better balance.
WICKET! MISBAH-UL-HAQ caught FINCH bowled MAXWELL 34(59)
Clarke gambles on Maxwell and gets a lucrative reward in the form of Misbah's wicket! The Pakistan skipper immediately tries to fetch the ball from outside off-stump and launch over mid-wicket again, but a top edge allows Finch to make up some good ground in the deep and clutch onto his chest. Such good captaincy from Clarke. Misbah hit Maxwell out of the attack in his previous spell, but he was brave enough to go back to the off-spinner in the hope that he could tempt Misbah into another big shot, and that's exactly what happened.
The talented Umar Akmal is the new man in and Maxwell has his head in his hands as he edges a tossed-up delivery through the vacant slip area for two to bring up Pakistan's hundred.
Clarke turns back to one of his strike bowlers in the wake of the Misbah wicket. Johnson tests Akmal with a bouncer and slower ball combination, but the number five copes competently.
There is an appeal for hit-wicket as the bail drops when Akmal steps back and beautifully cuts Maxwell to the point fence. Australia are briefly excited, but Haddin was quick to indicate that he thinks it might have been his gloves which flicked it off and replays show that is the case, with Akmal nowhere near making contact. He is looking to play late from his crease through the off-side, always a dangerous ploy while there is a bit of turn and bounce around, which there is, but the cut is one of his primary scoring shots.
WICKET! HARIS SOHAIL caught HADDIN bowled JOHNSON 41(57)
This time Australia have good reason to celebrate as Johnson finds Sohail's outside edge. The change to round the wicket works as the angle tempts Sohail into a big drive which he can only feather through to Haddin. No foot movement again from the Pakistani batsman and he pays as he goes for a bright 41.
Johnson presents Sohaib Maqsood with a full-toss freebie to get off the mark with two through cover. This is now a huge partnership for Pakistan as they won't want to expose Shahid Afridi too early.
Maxwell continues into a sixth over in which he concedes just four singles.
Perhaps the shot of the day from Akmal as he elegantly strokes Johnson down the ground, and the timing is so good that it reaches the 90-yard straight boundary. He is looking good, 20 from 24.
WICKET! UMAR AKMAL caught FINCH bowled MAXWELL 20(25)
Akmal is furious with himself and so he should be as he holes out to deep square-leg. It is a rank short ball from Maxwell, and Akmal somehow hits it straight to Finch in the deep when he had the time to pick his spot and have a cuppa before finding it. A heavy slap of bat on pad as he trudges off reflects what a disappointing end to a bright knock that was, and it is dismissals like that why Akmal junior is yet to fulfil his great potential.
Only Shahid Afridi would take 10 off his first five balls in this fashion, with his side in a hole. He paddle sweeps his first ball for two, slices a wide ball over point for four and then thumps over long-off for another boundary. Does the 35-year-old have one last special innings in him? His team need one badly.
Pakistan would have been even deeper in trouble had Johnson held onto a difficult return catch off Maqsood, who gets a leading edge trying to work the ball into the leg-side and looks generally uncomfortable against the short ball. Johnson gets almost a full hand to it, but cannot hang on diving to his left.
Clarke isn't going to allow Afridi any more of Maxwell, but brings back Hazelwood when Starc still has six overs up his sleeve. Maqsood faces most of the strike and hits his first boundary with a short-arm jab for four to the left of mid-on. Hazelwood isn't Johnson pace and Maqsood takes advantage.
Incredible shot from Afridi as he flashes at a wide one from Johnson and the ball goes sailing over the rope at deep point! He is already 18 from 10 and well set ahead of the upcoming power play.
WICKET! SHAHID AFRIDI caught FINCH bowled HAZELWOOD 23(15)
Afridi's typically explosive cameo comes to an end and Finch has a third catch in the deep! The Pakistan all-rounder top edged a short Hazelwood ball over Haddin's head for four earlier in the over, but another flat bat shot cannot make it over the short square boundary and Finch takes a decent grab above his head. A big wicket for the Aussies as Afridi was looking dangerous, but he has only one gear and that is so often his undoing.
Clarke rightly senses blood here and brings back Starc. His yorkers have been almost unplayable in this tournament, but he starts with length and Masqood and Wahab Riaz survive, for now. Riaz is a decent hitter of the ball, but him in at eight is an indication of how long this Pakistan tail is.
The mandatory batting power play is signalled. Why wasn't it taken when Afridi was in? Faulkner is Australia's go-to bowler under the fielding restrictions and concedes just one off his final ball.
Maqsood again gets away with his jumpy approach to the short ball as a top edge drops wide of mid-wicket. It is all on him to get Pakistan to a competitive total as it only appears to be a matter of time where Riaz and Starc is concerned. Twice the outside edge is beaten with nervy jabs outside off.
A drive to deep cover for one from Maqsood allows Faulkner the chance to have five balls at Riaz, who is having no joy poking and prodding and may be better off having a swing with the field in.
Starc brings out the old favourite: "It's the white thing mate, how about you try hitting it" after another couple of plays and misses from Wahab. Pakistan's own left-arm paceman is not happy with that and comes marching down the wicket to retort! Umpire Erasmus plays peacekeeper. All in good spirits, I think.
Productive over for Pakistan as 11 runs come from it, tarnishing Faulkner's figures a little. Riaz swings through a length ball which flies to the mid-on boundary, and Johnson gifts him four more with needless overthrows going for a direct hit at the non-striker's end. Faulkner shoots him a stern stare.
Starc and Riaz resume their battle and the Pakistan man wins their latest exchange by adjusting his body well to flick over mid-wicket for four. Starc responds will a very good bouncer which Wahab does well to avoid. He is round the wicket, but has yet to get that inswinging yorker on the right line.
WICKET! SOHAIB MAQSOOD caught JOHNSON bowled HAZELWOOD 29(44)
Another Pakistan batsman gets out after making a start. Maqsood had showed intent to ensure that Pakistan bat out their overs, cautiously nudging his way to 29, and then suddenly tries to carve Hazelwood over the top. Johnson takes a juggling catch at cover and the recalled Aussie seamer has a third wicket.
WICKET! WAHAB RIAZ caught HADDIN bowled STARC 16(24)
Starc laughs last as Wahab finally makes contact with that "white thing", only for his edge to go straight through to Haddin. Starc is now the outright leading wicket taker at this World Cup and he may not be done today either.
Sohail Khan backs away outside of leg stump to Starc, but gets bat on the ball twice to collect a couple of twos through mid-wicket. Ehsan Adil is the other new man at the crease for Pakistan.
WICKET! SOHAIL KHAN caught HADDIN bowled HAZELWOOD 4(5)
The end is nigh for Pakistan as Haddin takes a steepler to secure Hazelwood his fourth wicket. Sohail's massive heave gets some serious hang time on it, but the man with the gloves on calls early and takes confidently.
Number 11 Rahat Ali plays Starc better than many of his predecessors have and collects a single with an edge wide of the diving third sleep. Can Pakistan sneak their way up to 200?
The impressive Hazelwood, 10-1-35-4, is bowled out so Faulkner comes back for his familiar death role. Pakistan bring up their 200. Obviously well below a par score but every run is vital.
Starc too has used up his allocation and so Watson is brought back for the final couple of overs at the Cathedral End. Ehsan and Rahat each squeeze a single behind square on the off-side.
Getting to the last over and then having a swing seems to be the order of the day for Pakistan. I would guess that they end up with the smallest score in overs 40-50 for the tournament - 23 so far.
Still no kitchen sink from Pakistan. The third of three successive Watson bouncers nearly does for Rahat as he spoons the ball in the air on the off-side, but he survives to reach the final over.
WICKET! EHSAN ADLI caught STARC bowled FAULKNER 15(22)
Faulkner wraps things up with the penultimate ball, with Starc taking a good diving catch at long-leg to dismiss Ehsan, who had done his best to inflict some last-minute damage. Rahat finishes five not out.
So Australia need 214 to set up a last-four meeting with India. The previous quarter-finals have been lopsided and this one is going in the same direction unless Pakistan's bowlers can do something special.
Their batsman have certainly let them down. Haris Sohail was the top scorer with 41, with four of his teammates getting starts before getting out for between 20 and 35. All 10 of Pakistan's wickets lost were caught, many on the boundary, which is an indication of some of the poor shot selection.
Australia's bowlers of course played a role in inducing some of those poor shots. Mitchell Starc was again good at both ends of the innings, James Faulkner effective in the batting power play and Glenn Maxwell picked up a couple of important wickets. Josh Hazelwood was the star man, though, and his 4-35 will surely guarantee his place ahead of Pat Cummins in the side for the rest of the World Cup.
Pakistan have their own bowling weapons, 14-wicket Wahab Riaz among them. A full-strength attack might fancy themselves to trouble Australia, but Mohammad Irfan, Saaed Ajmal, Junaid Khan and Mohammad Hafeez are all missing and that makes their task even more of a mountainous one.
I will be back in 15 minutes to bring you the Australian innings. Can David Warner and company knock this off? And in time for me to get a good look at this solar eclipse (through advised safety glasses of course).
Here we go then. Sohail Khan to bowl. Warner on strike for Australia, 214 to win. Play!
A bit of wobble through the air for Sohail, but a really confident start from Warner, whose beautifully-timed punch through the off-side beats the diving Misbah at mid-off and goes for four. Another good stroke down the ground brings him three. Finch survives a big lbw shout first ball. Pakistan's think tank consider a review but agree that that the ball was bouncing high of the stumps.
Ehsan Adil rather than Wahab Riaz takes the other new ball. A streaky edge over the slips gives Warner his second boundary, but he is otherwise hitting it very crisply, although straight at fielders here.
WICKET! AARON FINCH lbw SOHAIL 2(5)
Pakistan get the early breakthrough that they so desperately needed as Finch is trapped in front playing across the line. His misguided review was a no-hoper, with the ball nipping back slightly and hitting him in front of middle and leg. It doesn't take the third umpire long to confirm umpire Dharmasena's decision.
Steve Smith is now Australia's number three and he shows Finch what he should have been doing with his wicket delivery by playing with a straight bat to Sohail's well-directed full balls.
Warner is a little frustrated as he continues to pick out fielders. He squeezes two through backward point to calm his run-scoring urges, but you sense that there is a big shot coming.
Sohail feeds Smith on his pads and is flicked away to the square-leg boundary. That was straight enough to allow him to play into the leg-side. A single apiece for he and Warner follow.
Rahat Ali's opening over is expensive. His first ball is a real long hop which Warner carves away for four over the off-side ring. Smith trumps that with a delightful cover drive on the up, a shot which demonstrates how good a pitch this is. He collects three more with a whip out towards deep mid-wicket.
Another glorious cover drive from Smith indicates that he is still in the slipstream of his incredible summer form. He has moved on to 17 from 16 balls, and a strike-starved Warner 21 off 21.
Slightly better from Rahat, but there is no plan in place for Smith. Pakistan are bowling on both sides of the wicket and he collects a couple through square leg and two more with a nice back-foot punch.
WICKET! DAVID WARNER caught RAHAT bowled RIAZ 24(23)
Misbah turns to his strike bowler and Riaz gets him a wicket! Warner has been waiting for a short ball to throw his hands through, but that's not really what he does here. He merely guides it in the air to third-man, where Rahat takes a really decent catch attacking the ball. A big wicket for Pakistan, because 20 overs of Warner could have taken this quarter-final away from them.
Clarke is immediately off the mark as he works two into the leg-side and one through backward point. There was a short leg in place by the end of the over, so some bumpers seem imminent.
He is not a prolific boundary hitter in ODI cricket, but Clarke is better at working the ball into gaps than some of his more dynamic teammates. He steers a couple of twos behind square off Rahat.
WICKET! MICHAEL CLARKE caught MAQSOOD bowled RIAZ 8(11)
The short-ball ploy works against Clarke! Riaz's first bouncer is quick and perfectly directed, and Clarke cannot get out of the way, simply lobbing the ball up to short leg. Pakistan are on a roll now!
Riaz is absolutely pumped up now! His first delivery to Watson is a 145kmph bumper which is well avoided by the Australia number five, sensibly promoted above Glenn Maxwell in this situation. Riaz's enormous follow-through takes him past Watson as he plays cheerleader for the rest of his equally-pumped side. Watson is not one to back down and this Adelaide crowd responds with their support too. At last these quarter-finals are delivering some competitive cricket. We have a real match on our hands here!
While Smith is at the crease and playing like he is, Australia will remain confident. He finds the cover fence for a third time, caressing an over-pitched Rahat ball for four despite Misbah's 'best' efforts.
A barnstorming over from Riaz, who is producing a really hostile and quick spell here. He is up to 150kmph and one particularly ferocious bouncer whistles past Watson's grill as he sways inside. Drinks.
The pace relents but now Australia have something new to worry about - the guile and experience of Shahid Afridi's leg-spin. He wants somebody under the lid and when there are no volunteers, Misbah takes the helmet himself. What a leader of men. Afridi is just a bit short and goes for five first up.
The outstanding Riaz is now definitely getting the better of his individual battle with Watson. Fending at the short ball, the Aussie pops one up into the off-side, where there is no close catcher, and then one just shy of the short-leg fielder. Another bumper flies off the shoulder of the bat, but short of third-man.
While all that is going on at one end, Smith is ticking along really nicely at the other. He clips Afridi for four through mid-wicket and then uses his feet well to pick up a couple of twos into leg.
Watson is dropped at long-leg! It is exactly what Wahab has been working for during this five-over blitz as he tempts Watson into a hook shot which is straight down the throat of Rahat, who drops a dolly! Riaz is devastated, but not deflated as he encourages the fielder and keeps charging in. Smith takes the heat off Watson for a couple of balls, but he soon gets another working over. How costly could that drop be?
Some relief for Watson as he finds his first boundary. The returning Sohail Khan is not as quick as Wahab and his short ball is swatted away in front of square. That should help Watson's confidence.
What has been so good about this Riaz spell is the accuracy with which he has pinned Watson as well as the pace. But he is now losing a little bit of steam and his radar is suffering along with it. Two wides mar his sixth and least threatening over, and it could be time for Misbah to give him a break.
Watson has seemingly survived his Wahab barrage and he revels in the freedom of facing Sohail with a crunching drive through cover which brings up the Aussie hundred.
Smith goes to his third successive half-century in this World Cup with the fourth glorious cover drive. It's been a marvellous innings so far, off only 51 balls, amid all the chaos going on at the other end. Rahab is back in the attack and has a lot of making up to do after his horror drop of Watson.
What a difference 7 or 8kmph makes. Sohail is trying the same short stuff that Riaz so troubled Watson with, but is being bullied through mid-wicket by the same batsman. Watson has fought and fended his way to 30 off 40 balls. Australia now need less than 100 to win, 91 to be exact.
A real change of pace here as Misbah turns to the slow left-arm of Haris Sohail. Smith and Watson will not want to throw all of their hard work away now and so just milk him for three singles.
Spin at both ends now as Afridi comes back on. He didn't get it right in his first spell and is off-colour here again, either too short or too straight and Australia pick up a low-risk nine.
Pakistan have taken over two hours to bowl these first 25 hours. It is a good job that this match isn't going the distance either way, because their over rate is horrendous. Sohail's second yields four.
Superb from Smith, who comes down the track and hits Afridi against the spin for a one-bounce four. Australia seem to be cruising towards this total now and Smith (64) is largely responsible.
WICKET! STEVE SMITH lbw EHSAN 65(69)
Pakistan give themselves the smallest of lifelines with the dismissal of Smith! Misbah reverts to pace with Ehsan and he hits the pads of Smith, who was trying to clip square. Dharmasena ponders the appeal and then raises his finger. It looks as if it might have been sliding down, but Finch wasted Australia's review earlier and so Smith has to go for what had previous been a flawless 65, which has put his side well on their way to the semis.
Glenn Maxwell is a bit of a free spirit, as Shane Warne says, but seems to have his sensible head on here. He defends calmly against Rahat before stroking him down the ground for four.
It's Wahab time again! The refreshed paceman has four overs left and Pakistan's slim hopes are in his hands. Wouldn't you just know it, Watson is on strike, but he quickly pushes into the off-side for a single. Fear not, because the entertainment persists. Maxwell gets himself into the most unnatural position imaginable to play his first bouncer and an upper cut of sorts is dropped by Sohail Khan on the run at third-man. A harder chance than Rahat's, but one that Pakistan needed to take to keep themselves in this match you feel.
Ehsan continues and Maxwell bludgeons a back-of-a-length ball over mid-wicket for four. There is more subtlety about Watson's boundary, a leaning drive through cover, as nine come off the over.
Glenn Maxwell has left me lost for words. He whips a half-volley away for four, and of course Wahab follows that up with another vicious bouncer. Maxwell backs away and shapes to pull, although the end product is more of a cut which flies to the point fence. I don't have the language at my disposal to do that shot justice. Cricket is yet to invent a word for it. Let the below picture tell the story. Twelve off the over in total and this game is now beyond Pakistan. That set from Riaz may just have been their last throw of the dice.
FIFTY! One of the hardest half-centuries Watson will have to work for comes up with a single to mid-wicket. Fifty-eight balls, five boundaries and one blistering Riaz spell later, this has been a real fight, but Watson has done a great job for his team. Australia are now motoring to victory as Maxwell thrashes Ehsan over the off-side ring and then over the rope at square leg with an effortless pull shot. Just 21 needed.
Watson affords himself a cheeky smile after finally plucking up the nerve to take on a Wahab bouncer and hooking him for six. Four more follows down to fine leg and words are exchanged between tonight's two warriors. Riaz finishes with another rapid bumper which Watson ducks, but he is more than happy to face up to one final verbal tirade from the unfortunate Pakistani quick. Watson was not chuckling an hour or so ago, but laughs it off as the Aussies close to within 11 of their target and a World Cup semi-final berth.
AUSTRALIA 216-4 (SMITH 65, WATSON 64*, MAXWELL 44*, HAZELWOOD 4-36) beat PAKISTAN 213-10 (SOHAIL 41, RIAZ 2-54) by six wickets
Australia end things in a hurry as Maxwell (44 off 29) slaps a six over backward point while on one knee before Watson (64 off 66) hits the winning runs through cover with the field up. Start the car.
The co-hosts confirm a last-four meeting with India at the SCG next week with a six-wicket win at Adelaide. It appears a comfortable victory on paper, but that does not tell the full story.
It could have been so different had Rahat Ali held onto Watson at long-leg during the middle of Wahab's outstanding spell of short, hostile, fast bowling, surely the spell of the tournament and one which gave the Aussies a real scare. They were 59-3 but Watson's crucial stands with Smith and Maxwell saw them home.
The defending champions are next for Michael Clarke and his men. Australia spent most of their summer battering India in every format, but MS Dhoni's men are back on song and unbeaten in the tournament. That should be an absolute thriller and will be brought to you live by Sports Mole next Thursday.
It's the plane home, though, for Pakistan, who may look back at this tournament and think 'what it', not only because of Rahat's drop today, but also the absence of key players such as Saaed Ajmal, Junaid Khan, Mohammad Hafeez and later Mohammad Irfan preventing them from being at full strength.
Despite those absentees, their bowling was a force throughout their campaign and helped them recover from successive losses at the start of the group stages. It was their fragile batting lineup which let them down. You aren't going to win a World Cup quarter-final without having someone make fifty.
This defeat could bring the curtain down on the Misbah era. It is widely expected that the 41-year-old will now retire from ODIs. The likes of Shahid Afridi and Younus Khan are also likely to have played their last 50-over cricket for their country as Pakistan prepare to go into a new era.
That's it from me. Thanks for joining SM throughout the morning and be sure to tune in again for live updates of tomorrow's clash between New Zealand and West Indies, which will be available from 12.30am GMT, to discover who will compete the semi-final lineup. Until then...