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Sports

June 27, 2019

Pakistan now has ‘realistic chance’ for World Cup 2019 semi-final slot: Wasim Akram

Sports

Thu, Jun 27, 2019

BIRMINGHAM: The former captain and Swing Ka Sultan Wasim Akram has said that Pakistan outclassed New Zealand in all three departments of the game in World Cup match at Edgbaston on Wednesday and the team now has a realistic chance of being in top four.

Talking to The News in Birmingham after Pakistan’s remarkable victory, the former captain said that Pakistan team deserves all praise for the way they won the game against New Zealand.

“They must be given the credit for such an outstanding performance,” a visibly pleased Akram said on Pakistan’s win.

“They were in commanding position since the first ball of the match, they bowled well, batted well and fielding was good too,” the Swing Ka Sultan highlighted.

Wasim praised Shaheen Shah Afridi for his superb bowling in the game.

“He bowled an exciting spell, great line and length. He is back with bang,” Wasim said.

“He shouldn’t have been dropped from the team earlier, he’s a genuine wicket taking bowler with the new ball,” the former captain added.

Wasim said that knowing Pakistan’s poor record of chasing, he got a bit scared when he saw NZ posting 237 but Pakistani batsmen played really well and ended it positively.

He, however, seemed unhappy the way Fakhar Zaman and Mohammad Hafeez got out.

“You don’t try to take all runs in start off a part timer, you need to be calm instead of misreading the delivery,” Wasim said of Hafeez’s dismissal. He also advised Fakhar to be more mature with his shot selection.

The former captain was full of praise for young Babar Azam who smashed an unbeaten century to help Pakistan reach the target comfortably on a challenging pitch.

“Babar has proved that he’s among top batsmen of the world. Haris is also great but he needs to improve his physical fitness if he wants to be among top class batsmen of the world,” Wasim said.

He expressed that Pakistan has now real chances of qualifying for the final four and England can be in danger zone, but added that boys in green shouldn’t be complacent about weaker oppositions.

“Afghanistan has nothing to lose so they’ll go all out. Bangladesh is no more a minnow so they can pose threat to Pakistan as well. So, you’ll have to be at best. It will be interesting to see how England would proceed with its remaining games against India and New Zealand,” the former captain said.