Resurgence of Babar Azam’s Team
Despite a rocky start, Pakistan’s World Cup dreams are far from over. Their recent victory over New Zealand has breathed new life into their campaign. A decisive win in their final match against England could potentially catapult them into the semi-finals, a stage they seemed unlikely to reach after their group stage performance.
Fakhar Zaman: The Unassuming Hero
Fakhar Zaman, the star of Saturday’s match, believes in the potential of his team. The opener, who scored a match-winning century against New Zealand, insists that the Pakistani team is brimming with talent. According to him, the team just needed to find their rhythm, which they often lose over time. Once they find their groove, everyone performs well, as evidenced by their recent matches where the bowlers made commendable comebacks.
Strategic Play Amidst Rain Threat
The threat of rain and the possibility of a decision by the Duckworth-Lewis-Stern (DLS) method was always in the back of the players’ minds. With a target of 400 runs, the team had to consider the implications if rain interrupted play. The team was constantly updated about their position relative to New Zealand’s score. Once they had a lead, they didn’t risk playing additional overs, knowing that rain was imminent and they were already ahead.
Overcoming Consecutive Losses
Four consecutive losses to India, Australia, Afghanistan, and South Africa had put Pakistan on the brink of an early World Cup exit. However, Zaman revealed that the team and management remained positive throughout their campaign. They never lost hope and continued to believe in their potential to reach the semi-finals and even the finals.
Looking Ahead: The Road to Qualification
If Australia triumphs over Afghanistan on Tuesday and Sri Lanka defeats the Kiwis on Thursday, Pakistan’s chances of qualification will significantly improve. Their match against England, scheduled late in the group stage, could then become the deciding factor in their World Cup journey.