Decision time in the ICC T20 Cricket World Cup has arrived for Pakistan and Australia, who face off in a match that will stream live Friday — a match that will decide which of the two teams has a chance to move out of the group stage and into the World T20 semifinals. But even after Friday's crucial Pakistan vs. Australia match, the tension in Group Two will not be resolved — until Sunday when Australia and India play their finals match of the group stage, against each other.
Bangladesh suffered elimination from the group stage on Wednesday when they suffered a heartbreaking defeat in one of the most thrilling T20 international matches in the history of the T20 World Cup.
Needing two runs to win with three balls remaining, India bowler Hardik Pandya took three straight wickets — the final one a brilliant run-out of Mustafizur Rahman by India captain M.S. Dhoni — to shatter the Bangladesh hopes to qualify for another World Cup quarterfinal, after the Tigers advanced out of the 50-overs Cricket World Cup group stage for the first time in their history last year.
But even with the sensational, nail-biting victory, India remain in a tough spot in Group Two thanks to a negative net run rate, the only team with a negative run rate of the three still competing for the second and last available semifinal spot to come out of the group.
Watch highlights of Pakistan's tough loss to New Zealand, the surprise team of the 2016 T20 World Cup, in the video below.
To find out how to watch a live stream of the potentially decisive Pakistan vs. Australia T20 World Cup match, see the streaming links at the bottom of this article. First ball of the afternoon match is scheduled to be bowled at 3 p.m. India Standard Time at Punjab Cricket Association IS Bindra Stadium in Mohali, India, on Friday, March 25.
Fans in the United States will need to get up early or stay up late to watch the Pakistan vs. Australia live stream. The U.S. start times will be 5:30 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time, 2:30 a.m. Pacific.
New Zealand have won all three of their matches, clinching their place in the semifinal.
If Pakistan rights their ship after losing their last two contests and gets past Australia, they must then hope that Australia defeats India on Sunday — but not by too much. If Australia wins a narrow victory over India, Pakistan, thanks to their 55-run win over Bangladesh to open their 2016 T20 World Cup, they stand a solid chance of taking second place in the group and moving on to the knockout round.
But if Pakistan lose to Australia, their 2016 T20 World Cup is over.
As for India, a win over Australia on Sunday puts the Men in Blue through the semifinals, no matter what happens in Friday's Pakistan vs. Australia match. But if Australia wins on Friday and again on Sunday, they join their regional rivals New Zealand in the semifinal.
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Star Sports will carry a live stream of the match at this link. But the most reliable way to watch the crucial Australia vs. Pakistan T20 Cricket World Cup Super 10 match, via live stream in the United States, is through Willow TV, which is available via this YouTube link. Fans can also use The Willow app for mobile devices or on Willow TV's own site, accessible by clicking here with a monthly subscription fee.
There are legal ways to watch Willow TV for free. Certain promotional offers make it possible to watch the all-cricket network, including Friday's Australia vs. Pakistan T20 Cricket World Cup Super 10 match, such as the offer at this link. The best bet would be the one-month free trial of Sling TV's International Sports Package, which includes Willow. Information on that deal can be found at this link. The India-based site CricHD will also carry a stream at this link.
[Featured Photo By Ryan Pierse / Getty Images]