Pakistan skipper Sarfraz Ahmed admitted his team need a miracle to qualify for the World Cup semi-finals as they prepare for their final league game against Bangladesh at Lord’s on Friday.
Pakistan require an outlandishly big victory but if Bangladesh bat first, their chances of catching New Zealand will be gone. “Obviously, we are here to win all the matches,” said Sarfraz, whose team have lost their past four one-day internationals against a fast-improving Bangladesh. “We will do our best to win the last game as well to end on a high and we will do our best to achieve that but we need to be realistic, but if Allah helps then miracles can happen,” he said.
“It’s like you score 600, 500, 400 on a pitch then you think you can get the other team out for 50 and then win by a 316-run margin. If you think realistically, then we can only try. But the first real thing will be to win the match.”
Pakistan’s highest total at the tournament is the 348-8 they made in their shock win over England. The host nation’s 397-6 against Afghanistan is the best of the World Cup so far.
Sarfraz said it had been tough to post big totals on the pitches being used in the tournament. “If you look at the tournament then, realistically, the tournament is of 280-300 totals,” said Sarfraz. “If you look at the pitches, they were not for free-scoring. They were tough for batting with spin and the ball was not coming onto the bat.”
Pakistan were shot out for a paltry 105 in their first match, with the West Indies winning in just 13.4 overs, meaning they took a huge hit on run rate. They won just one of their first five matches, coming back strongly to beat South Africa, New Zealand and Afghanistan to sit fifth in the 10-team table.
But England’s victory against New Zealand on Wednesday left them with a virtually impossible task. Those two teams plus Australia and India will almost certainly be the four semi-finalists.