It was a full team effort: Sarfaraz
Leeds, Jun 30 : Pakistan skipper Sarfraz Ahmed said the close win over Afghanistan was a “full team effort,” after his side side pulled off a dramatic three-wicket victory here to stay alive in the World Cup.
There were contributions from Babar Azam (45) and Imam-ul Haq (36) at the top order while chasing a modest 228 on Saturday, but it required a special innings from Imad Wasim, who took Pakistan to the finishing line with an unbeaten 49-run knock under pressure.
“It is a great win for us. Not an easy pitch to bat on, but credit goes to Imad – the way he batted, the way he handled pressure, hats off to him. We knew it was not an easy chase, their bowlers used the conditions very well,” said Sarfaraz after Pakistan jumped to fourth spot in the table with nine points from eight games.
“Babar and Imam played very well, we needed a partnership in the middle that didn’t happen, but we got it in the end. A full team effort. We all knew it’s not an easy task in the World Cup, but we took it match by match,” he said.
The Pakistan skipper also praised left-arm pacer Shaheen Shah Afridi, who returned a four-wicket haul.
“Shaheen is improving day by day, he’s working very hard. The other bowlers also bowled really well. All are in good nick,” he said adding that now they will keenly follow Sunday’s India-England game since if the hosts lose, Pakistan will have a better chance to make it to the last-four.
Afghanistan skipper Gulbadin Naib admitted that fluffed chances cost them the game.
“We fought very well and gave 100 per cent but in the end we missed an opportunity to win the match. But credit goes to Pakistan. Imad played really well and Shadab gave him the strike well. We’re playing these kind of teams, so you’ll face these situations,” he said.
“Bad luck for us today, Hamid Hasan was injured. The wicket was slow and turning, credit to (Mohammad) Nabi, Mujeeb (Ur Rahman), Rashid (Khan) and Sami (Samiullah Shinwari) also. But we missed Hamid.”
Naib said his batsmen need to score big knocks.
“I said at the start of the tournament 30-40 is not enough, you need 60-70 or 100, then you can put up a good total. Each batsman, including me, should go one step forward. We are learning a lot, so hopefully we’ll do well in the future,” he concluded.