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Confident Pakistan target semis after Bangladesh win

Source: PTI
October 31, 2023 22:46 IST
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IMAGE: Pakistan pacer Shaheen Shah Afridi (3/23) led the pace attack brilliantly to bowl out Bangladesh for a paltry 204. Photograph: Samuel Rajkumar/Reuters

A thumping seven-wicket win over Bangladesh has certainly uplifted the mood in Pakistan's camp and opener Fakhar Zaman said they are firmly focused on making the World Cup semi-finals, despite all the ifs and buts.

Pakistan pacer Shaheen Shah Afridi (3/23) led the pace attack brilliantly to bowl out Bangladesh for a paltry 204 before they cantered home in 32.3 overs to hugely boost their net run-rate.


"Every win in the World Cup, gives you confidence. We also waited for this win," Zaman said after the match.

"We have now started to find our rhythm. Against South Africa, we made comebacks while batting as well as bowling.

"We are getting our combinations right. I have been part of this dressing room for eight years now, it will improve further," he added.

Making a comeback after five matches, Fakhar struck a 74-ball 81 and laid the foundation with Abdullah Shafique (68) in a 128-run opening stand as Pakistan cruised to an easy victory.

"The situation we are in at the moment, we were looking to chase it in 29-30 overs. Ifs and buts will be there, but our target is semi-final and we will try for that only," he said.

The win saw Pakistan snap their four-match losing streak and move past Afghanistan into fifth place on net run-rate with six points.

They now have to win against New Zealand and England in their last two games to get to 10 points and hope that at least one of New Zealand or Australia slip in the points table losing two or more games.

Down with a niggle, Zaman had to sit out for five matches after their World Cup opener against the Netherlands.

"The injury was not that severe and I had to sit out for precaution. If team needed me, I would have played. Today I got a chance, and did my best in team's win."

Zaman said he is hungry for more such knocks.

"The way I'm playing at the nets I've a fair idea that the ball is coming well on bat. On Indian wickets, the key is to hang around for three-four overs and then it becomes easy to score runs. The boundaries are also short. I want to perform similarly in next matches, so that we make semis."

He further said the bowlers have now aced the conditions in India.

"If you spend time in the middle you get an idea, initially our pacers were trying for more but the key here is accuracy," he said.

Asked if Pakistan's loss against India still hurt them, he said: "Of course, an India and Pakistan match is a very big deal. If I say it doesn't make a difference, I would be wrong.

"But all the players are professional and have played a lot of cricket. Even against India, they have played a lot of matches. So, you can't say anything like that."

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