Shock dismissals, rapid deliveries, dropped catches and a barrage of bouncers escalated into an intense and competitive battle between Australia’s Shane Watson and Pakistan’s Wahab Riaz during last night’s Cricket World Cup semi-final qualifier.
Riaz, seemingly unfazed by Pakistan’s modest total of 213, opened up his spell and removed Australia’s David Warner and captain Michael Clarke in back-to-back overs.
The left-arm fast bowler was two for 24 after just six overs when Shane Watson graced the pitch. What followed was a fiery exchange of short balls, top edges, big bouncers and glaring stares.
The confrontation was ignited when Watson allegedly questioned Riaz’ performance during Pakistan’s earlier innings, asking “Are you holding a bat?”
Watson’s time at the crease was almost cut short after scoring just 4 runs, following a slew of short-pitched deliveries from Riaz. The all-rounder was lucky not to be caught out after edging a bouncer high towards fine-leg.
In the end, Watson and test captain Steve Smith cemented a solid partnership and Australia managed to chase down Pakistan’s total to secure a six-wicket victory in the World Cup quarter-final.
Watch the fiery display below.