Pakistan find themselves very active and would continue to survive in the World Cup, regardless of a catastrophic start as Coach Mickey Arthur cautioned his unpredictable team was still aiming for the semi-finals.
The 1992 champions were on the verge of elimination after losing three of their first five games, consisting of an upsetting defeat to arch-rivals India. However, Sunday’s 49-run win over South Africa has kept alive Pakistan’s hopes of qualifying for the last four.
Pakistan now needs to win their remaining three matches against New Zealand, Afghanistan and Bangladesh, and expect the results go in their favor.
New Zealand is on the top of the 10-team table and is way ahead of Australia, India and England, followed by Sri Lanka, Bangladesh with Pakistan in seventh place.
However, England, after their upsetting defeat in the hands of Sri Lanka, would be out of the chase for the last four spot, if they lose their remaining three games against Australia, India and New Zealand. Pakistan is hoping for a scenario, where table-toppers New Zealand can lose their last three matches and become disqualified. Arthur stated that they are depending on other teams for doing a favor to Pakistan by losing their games. Still, they would need to win three games.
Arthur stated Pakistan, who surprised England earlier in the tournament, can beat any team if they play their best game. He feels that if his team play their best game, they can beat anyone, be it New Zealand, Bangladesh, Afghanistan.
Still, Pakistan needs to greatly improve their casual fielding. The team needs to put the three disciplines together, i.e. batting, fielding, and bowling. For instance, in their game against South Africa, Pakistan batted and bowled well but didn’t field properly.
Highlighting Pakistan’s fickle nature, which included the 14-run win over top-ranked England followed their seven-wicket defeat against the West Indies.