Cricket World Cup: Michael Clarke praises Shane Watson's defiance

Australia's Shane Watson
Watson's 64 not out came from 66 balls, having taken 27 balls to score his first 13

Australia captain Michael Clarke praised Shane Watson's defiance with the bat after their six-wicket World Cup quarter-final win over Pakistan.

Watson held out against a fiery fast bowling spell from Wahab Riaz to see the co-hosts home with 64 not out.

"I was really impressed with the way the boys handled the pressure, 'Watto' especially," Clarke told BBC Sport.

"He had a bit of luck, getting dropped, but to go on and control the innings and get us home was a credit to him."

Clarke, who was caught at short mid-wicket in Riaz's second over, added: "That's finals cricket at its best - there's pressure, there's expectation, everybody seems to go up a gear and Wahab Riaz [who took 2-54] certainly showed that with the ball.

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"I think Pakistan would have liked a few more runs, the wicket was pretty good, but we knew it was going to be tough as their strength is their fast bowling.

"However many we had to chase, it was going to be tough. Fortunately we found a way."

Clarke also felt vindicated after Josh Hazlewood, 24, who replaced fellow paceman Pat Cummins, 21, in the side, took the man-of-the-match award with figures of 4-35.

"I've said throughout the tournament it will take all 15 of us to have success and we've seen that today with Josh coming in and getting his opportunity," he said.

Australia now head to Sydney where they will face India in the second semi-final next Thursday.

"Everybody has areas [where] we need to get better, so we'll work on those," added Clarke.

"What team the selectors go for next game, we'll wait and see what the wicket is like at the SCG.

"We showed a lot of skill with bat and ball and in the field, but the next game's our World Cup final, exactly like I said about this game,. You have to treat each game like it's the most important game."

Listen to highlights from Test Match Special's and 5 live Sport's 2015 World Cup coverage.

World Cup quarter-finals
South Africa beat Sri Lanka by nine wickets
India beat Bangladesh by 109 runs
Australia beat Pakistan by six wickets
New Zealand v West Indies, Wellington, 21 March

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