Pakistan are still in a fierce contention for the semi-finals of the 12th edition of the World Cup after a thrilling three-wicket win over Afghanistan on Saturday, thanks to medium pacer Shaheen Afridi’s four-wicket haul followed by Babar Azam and Imad Wasim’s valiant 45 and 49-run knocks, respectively.
After restricting Afghanistan to a modest 227 runs, the Green Brigade managed to emerge victorious in the final over.
Pakistan skipper Sarfaraz Ahmed said that it was the team effort which won them the nail-biter against Afghanistan in Leeds. Speaking at the post-match presentation he said: “Everyone chipped in and I think it is a team effort. We all know that after four games, it won’t be easy to win all the next four games, but we are taking it match by match.”
“In the previous game, the way Babar Azam and Harris Sohail handled the pressure was really good and today the way Imad (Wasim) handled the pressure and in the end, Shadab (Khan) and the way Wahab Riaz batted, I think his (Riaz’s) 15 runs were very important.”
Applauding his bowlers Sarfaraz said, “We all know he (Shaheen Afridi) is a good bowler and he is improving day by day and I think he is working hard and he bowled really well today. All the other bowlers – Wahab (Riaz), (Mohammed) Amir, Shadab (Khan) and Imad – also bowled well today and I believe all of them are in good nick.”
Pakistan have nine points from eight games and they are still in the race for the semi-finals. The Green Brigade will have to win their last league game and must be hoping that England lose at least one of their two remaining games.
Pakistan face Bangladesh next on 5 July while Afghanistan take on the West Indies on 4 July.