Pakistan is making a late rise in the direction of the World Cup’s semi‑final spots, once more with the winds of their 1992 winning campaign possibly behind them if one takes a look into their form.
After beating New Zealand at Edgbaston by six wickets, they have seven points in their kitty and still two matches left for them against Afghanistan and Bangladesh left, Sarfaraz Ahmed’s team look as balanced as any other team to leap to the fourth-placed spot, by winning their remaining two games.
At Edgbaston, as a sea of green supporters started to roar, local seismologists likely gaped quizzically at their instruments. Boult brought an early assault on the team during their run chase. Fakhar Zaman caught while trying usually an ambitious swipe – before Ferguson, the right-arm who has a claim of being the World Cup’s fastest bowler, bounced out Imam-ul-Haq. However, as soon as Babar Azam hit the crease, the game scene started to change. His masterful strokes helped him to score 101 runs. Unbeaten Azam along with Haris Sohail, chased down the target of 238 with five balls to spare.
Earlier, James Neesham’s unbeaten 97 helped the Black Caps to score 237 for six, the total being not undefendable due to the slow pitch which was a result of the recent spell of rain,
Pakistan, in respect of fielding, presented some athletic fight. For instance, the athletic one-handed catch from Sarfaraz behind the stumps to remove Taylor from the crease is simply amazing. Pakistan’s Shaheen Shan Afridi brought damage to New Zealand’s top order. In just seven overs he just removed Colin Munro, Ross Taylor, and Tom Latham from the crease.
With 11 points to their name, Williamson’s men know a win or a washout against either Australia or England would be enough to make the final four. About Pakistan? They are simply unpredictable and if in mood, you won’t bet against them.