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Summary

  1. Australia won with 16.1 overs to spare
  2. Hosts face India in Thursday's semi-final
  3. Watson makes unbeaten 64 in Adelaide
  4. Smith 65 helps hosts recover from 59-3
  5. Riaz excels with two wickets in fiery spell
  6. Pakistan 213: Haris 41, Hazlewood 4-35

Live Reporting

By James Gheerbrant and Mark Mitchener

All times stated are UK

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Goodbye

So, we now know the identity of three of the four semi-finalists. Australia join India and South Africa in the last four - they were made to work hard by Pakistan but ultimately their superior batting and fielding won the day.

We still haven't had a truly close quarter-final, but that was certainly more thrilling than the first two. You can now read the

match report from today's game on our website.

Join us tonight/tomorrow morning at 00:30 GMT, when co-hosts New Zealand take on West Indies for the final spot in the semis. See you then!

Player reaction

Pakistan bowler Wahab Riaz on Rahat Ali's dropped catch: "It was a crucial moment. We would have had Watson and a wicket to put more pressure on Australia.

"We watched how the Australia guys play and had a chat before the game and put plans in place. I knew Watson was not so good with short balls so I knew I had to attack. The plans were successful at times but unfortunately we could not win the game.

On pace bowler Mohammad Irfan, who missed the defeat through injury: "He is one of our great fast bowlers who leads the attack so not having him in this game was crucial. You cant do anything about it though and the other guys performed well. It is a game of nerves and unfortunately we were not able to win it."

Vic Marks

Ex-England spinner on BBC Test Match Special

What will India have learned from this game ahead of the semi-finals?

"Australia will be favourites, but when you bat against them, you've got to protect those wickets early on. Australia have not had to face teams with wickets in hand for the last 10 overs. But India will have noticed how Clarke got out. Third man and long leg will be on red alert for Warner, and you can always get Maxwell early. India are fielding much better than Pakistan can, and they'll have to take the chances that come their way."

Captain's view

Australia captain Michael Clarke: "I am extremely happy. It was a close game in the end our bowlers did a great job and we were strong in the field. Credit to Pakistan, and Riaz in particular, for the way they bowled. It was the fastest spell I've seen in a long time. You are under pressure the whole time and the way Watson hung in was fantastic. Smith was great today as well."

On India (Australia's opponents in the last four): "They are in good form and playing well. Dhoni is leading them well. We will aim to be at our best. Our top four needs to bat better than we did today but hopefully we will be on it."

Michael Clarke
Reuters

Join the debate at #bbccricket

Scotty Reynolds: It goes to show how important to Australia it was to beat the rain and win against Scotland. SA would have beaten Aus tonight.

Ilyas Najib: Misbah and Afridi, thank you for all the wonderful memories, the tuk tuks and boom booms will be missed.

Aashish: Amazing how fine margins dictate the outcome of a cricket game, Pakistan's Herschelle Gibbs moment proving crucial.

Join the debate at #bbccricket

Former West Indies batsman Brian Lara: It was a joy to watch Wahab Riaz bowling today. His stats will never reveal how great a spell of fast bowling that was from the Pakistani.

Wahab Riaz
Getty Images

Captain's view

Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq: "It is disappointing. We wanted to win and progress but Australia deserve it. They bowled well and when it came to batting they did that well too. At one stage 270 or 280 was on but we kept losing wickets."

On Wahab Riaz: "He bowled his heart out and was a different kind of bowler throughout this tournament. I have never seen a bowler bowling like that and if that catch had been taken who knows what could have happened?

On Pakistan's World Cup overall: "Losing the first two games and the way we came back and won four in a row was good. Overall the team did well in this tournament."

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Former Australia pace bowler Glenn McGrath: Well played @CricketAus in winning their quarter-final over Pakistan. It was a lot tougher then the score suggests. Bring on the semi-final!!

Vic Marks

Ex-England spinner on BBC Test Match Special

"We've got three semi-finalists who are three of the best teams in the tournament - if everything goes with the book, New Zealand will join them, as they're close to the top of their game. It's reassuring that we're getting the best teams there, and I hope we get some finishes in the 49th or the 50th over, not the 33rd or 34th. It's been an exciting tournament so far, but that would top it off."

Listen to TMS commentary via the audio icon.

More from coach Darren Lehmann on TMS, on Australia's team selection: "We felt Josh Hazlewood would offer more control with the new ball, Pat Cummins was unlucky as he got wickets against Scotland so we'll have to see what we go with in Sydney. Quarter-finals are always tough and Pakistan have some quality players, but our bowling and fielding was exceptional and that was what won us the game. We'll fly to Sydney, probably have a day off and then get back into training."

Australia coach Darren Lehmann on TMS: "An exciting game, they threw everything at us and that spell from Wahab Riaz was one of the best I've seen for a while. Credit to Watto for getting through it, he got a bit fortunate with the dropped catch, but the Smith-Watson partnership was probably the most crucial one in the game. Steve's had an excellent summer, he settled the team down and did the job."

Steve Smith and Shane Watson
Getty Images

Review of the match

So, a handsome margin of victory for Australia, even if the manner of the win wasn't always so comfortable. But in truth, Pakistan only very briefly threatened to defend that modest target.

A superb spell of hostile fast bowling from Wahab Riaz put Australia under pressure, but the dropped catch from Rahat Ali at 83-3 really was crucial. Had he taken it, Australia would have been really under the pump; but he missed it, and from then on, Australia's path to victory was a smooth one.

Of course, it was with the ball that Australia really won this game. Mitchell Starc was reliably superb with his pace and late swing, and Josh Hazlewood showed his value with four wickets in the third seamer role. Their battery of quicks will be key to their prospects in what looks a mouthwatering semi-final against an in-form India.

Man of the match

More from Josh Hazlewood on TMS: "We bowled well as a group, Starcy's been outstanding all tournament. We were pretty happy, the wicket was good and we tried to keep attacking and taking wickets. I was a bit nervous at different stages, but our fielding has been outstanding this tournament. Shane Watson's been outstanding, it was great for him to get through that hostile spell."

Man of the match

Australia paceman Josh Hazlewood, who took 4-35: "I've been bowling well all week so it was good to put it into a game. I was happy to get a game. The wicket was quite good so to keep them to 213 was ideal and the batsmen did well."

Josh Hazlewood
AP

Semi-final line-up

So, the semi-final line-up now looks like this:

  • Tuesday 24 March: New Zealand or West Indies v South Africa, Auckland (01:00 GMT)
  • Thursday 26 March Australia v India, Sydney (03:30 GMT)

How's stat?

Andrew Samson

BBC Test Match Special statistician

"Australia are the first team to reach the semi-finals seven times in World Cups. New Zealand may join them tomorrow with seven semi-final appearances."

Vic Marks

Ex-England spinner on BBC Test Match Special

"You can't argue with that - 16.1 is an awful lot of overs to have left. It looks an absolute cakewalk, and in many ways it was, apart from that spell when Wahab Riaz had the Force with him - that was exceptional fast bowling but he didn't have enough support from the other bowlers or the fielders. It was terrific theatre, but the form book has triumphed again, with just a few hiccups along the way. If only Rahat Ali had held that catch."

Shane Watson
Getty Images

Final scorecard

Australia 216-4 from 33.5 overs won by six wickets

Batsmen: Watson 64, Maxwell 44

Fall of wickets: 15-1 (Finch 2), 49-2 (Warner 24), 59-3 (Clarke 8), 148-4 (Smith 65)

Bowling figures: Sohail Khan 7.5-0-57-1, Ehsan Adil 5-0-31-1, Rahat Ali 6-0-37-0, Riaz 9-0-54-2, Afridi 4-0-30-0, Haris Sohail 2-0-7-0

Pakistan 213 all out: Haris Sohail 41, Hazlewood 4-35, Starc 2-40, Maxwell 2-43

Pakistan won toss

Listen to TMS commentary via the audio icon.

Scorecard

Champagne moment

AUSTRALIA BEAT PAKISTAN BY SIX WICKETS

Australia finish the job in style. Glenn Maxwell backs away and wallops one into the stands at backward point, then Watson hits the winning runs through the covers.

So Australia have survived a stern examination here, and they go through to the semi-finals to face India.

Shane Watson and Glenn Maxwell
Getty Images

Join the debate at #bbccricket

Rajan Gola: Maybe it was a tactical move for Pakistan players to drop catches to avoid looking at the eclipse.

Rakesh Pradhan: Fielding never was Pakistan's strong point. Can't think of a world class Pakistan fielder.

Six

Aus 203-4 (target 214)

Australia are cantering to the finish line now. Shane Watson is now feeling confident enough to take on his nemesis Riaz, and he gets a pull shot right out of the screws, it flies over midwicket for a big six. And then the burly all-rounder piles on the pain, flicking Riaz down to fine leg for four. He has a few words for the bowler too. Riaz responds with a sharp short ball, but Watson can afford to smile as he dips out of the way.

Vic Marks

Ex-England spinner on BBC Test Match Special

"Maxwell's not going to hang around, he doesn't know how to block. He reminds me of

one of my fellow summarisers today - not Allan Border. To defend 213, Pakistan needed to be flawless in the field, but they've dropped two, although they've played some extraordinary cricket."

Listen to TMS commentary via the audio icon.

Six

Aus 193-4

Maxwell is firing Australia to victory here. He gets a wide one from Ehsan and flays it over the covers for four, then next ball he swivels onto the back foot and bludgeons a pull over the rope at fine leg. That's Australia's first six of the innings.

Glenn Maxwell
AP

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Sunday Times cricket correspondent Simon Wilde: Before Australia get too pleased with themselves, they should know that India, New Zealand and South Africa can field.

50 for Watson

Aus 183-4

Shane Watson brings up his half century with a single to midwicket.

This has been a gutsy knock from Watto. He got a life early on but since then he's batted well, riding the early storm and looking more fluent as the innings has worn on. Can he see Australia through to the close?

Shane Watson
Getty Images

Vic Marks

Ex-England spinner on BBC Test Match Special

"I can't work out where he wanted to hit that, and I'm not sure he knew where it was going either. It will be known as the Maxwell swat."

Aus 182-4 (Watson 49, Maxwell 25)

Three overs left for Wahab. 18 balls to change the course of this match. Pakistan need a moment of inspiration from their premier fast bowler.

But it's Australia who are in charge at the moment, and Glenn Maxwell pockets his third boundary with a clip through midwicket. And then an extraordinary shot - Maxwell backs away to leg, the bowler follows him, but somehow he still manages to squeeze a cut-shot through point, eyes closed and falling over. It's not going Pakistan's way at the moment.

Maxwell moves on to 25 via more orthodox means with a push into the covers for two. Just 32 more needed.

Latest scorecard

Australia 169-4 from 30 overs (target 214)

Batsmen: Watson 48, Maxwell 14

Fall of wickets: 15-1 (Finch 2), 49-2 (Warner 24), 59-3 (Clarke 8), 148-4 (Smith 65)

Bowling figures: Sohail Khan 7-0-44-1, Ehsan Adil 4-0-20-1, Rahat Ali 6-0-37-0, Riaz 7-0-31-2, Afridi 4-0-30-0, Haris Sohail 2-0-7-0

Pakistan 213 all out: Haris Sohail 41, Hazlewood 4-35, Starc 2-40, Maxwell 2-43

Pakistan won toss

Listen to TMS commentary via the audio icon.

Scorecard

Aus 169-4

The adrenalin is coursing through Glenn Maxwell's veins at the moment - he goes hard at the first ball of Ehsan's over and gets nothing but fresh air. He continues to trust his attacking instincts though, and gets four with a pull through midwicket.

Watson looks the more comfortable of the duo, and he collects four with a silky smooth push through the covers. Pakistan need another wicket, and pronto.

Glenn Maxwell
Getty Images

Vic Marks

Ex-England spinner on BBC Test Match Special

"Riaz has been exceptional. It needs quite a lot of skill to get those bouncers in the right spot and get them into the body rather than ballooning over or wide. Watson, a vastly experienced player who isn't known for having troubles against the short ball, has struggled.

"He's got Clarke and Warner out, and would have got Watson and Maxwell out if the fielding had been up to standard. Whoever they come across later in the competition - Morne Morkel, Umesh Yadav, Trent Boult - the short ball is worth a go!"

Listen to TMS commentary via the audio icon.

Drinks break

Aus 160-4 (Watson 44, Maxwell 9)

Maxwell gets off strike with a push into the covers - he can stand at the non-striker's end and reflect on his good fortune. That really was an awful shot in the circumstances - a complete rush of blood to the head. The rest of the over yields a couple more singles, and it's time for drinks.

Vic Marks

Ex-England spinner on BBC Test Match Special

"That was an amazing drop. Sohail's not a great mover, he was never favourite to get that. Poor old Wahab, he should have had two more wickets."

Sohail Khan
Reuters

Dropped catch

Aus 156-4

Can you believe it? I don't think Wahab Riaz can. He returns to the attack, and with his second ball he induces Glenn Maxwell to play a dreadful unorthodox swipe that flies up in the air to third man, but Sohail Khan can't take the catch running round. Another chance goes down - is that Pakistan's last chance?

Glenn Maxwell
Getty Images

Aus 153-4 (target 214)

Afridi's spin is dispensed with, but it's not Riaz, but Rahat who returns to the attack. There's a huge appeal as Maxwell plays at one and the ball goes through to the keeper with a noise, but the umpire correctly rules it was bat on ground. Maxwell plays out five dots, then capitalises on a slightly overpitched final ball with a sweetly-timed drive down the ground. 61 needed now.

Allan Border

Ex-Australia captain on BBC Test Match Special

"Australia had a slightly stuttering start to the tournament as they had that win over England, then a rain-out and a week off, so they didn't quite have that early momentum."

Listen to TMS commentary via the audio icon.

Aus 149-4

Glenn Maxwell is the new man. He's away first ball with a prod down to third man. Surely Misbah has got to bring back Riaz now? The replays, by the way, show that the wicket ball was just clipping leg stump.

Allan Border

Ex-Australia captain on BBC Test Match Special

"No reviews left after Aaron Finch took it early in the contest. Steve Smith might have asked for a look at that one, but he's got to go, and the game is very much still alive. A couple of overs from Riaz might be the order of the day now."

Steve Smith
Getty Images

WICKET

Smith lbw b Ehsan 65 (Aus 148-4)

Lifeline for Pakistan! They've prised the limpet-like Steven Smith from the crease, and it's the returning Ehsan Adil who does the damage. A full ball, maybe a hint of nip back and it hits Smith in front. The appeal is half-hearted at best, but up goes the umpire's finger, and Australia are out of reviews, so Smith has to go!

Ehsan Adil
Getty Images

Aus 146-3 (Smith 64, Watson 41)

Thanks Mitch. What a magnificent spell of bowling that was from Wahab Riaz, but at the moment it looks very much like it will all be in vain. Steve Smith, who has exuded assurance today, skips down the track and lofts the innocuous Afridi for a one-bounce four to cow corner. Australia on Easy Street right now.

Aus 139-3

More left-arm tweak from Haris at the City End, but Watson is drilling him down the ground with ease. Four singles from the over.

And he may not get his full 25 overs in this innings, but it's time to hand you back to James Gheerbrant for the conclusion of this match.