Pakistan haven’t tasted much cup success after the historic final in 1992 in Melbourne. The recent performances of the team doesn’t excite fans anymore. Even their second-best success of winning the Champions Trophy is considered as fluke by many.
However things might change a bit after their recent ODI win against South Africa. After a 0-3 drubbing in the longest format, Pakistan faced the Proteas in the first of the five-ODI series in Port Elizabeth.
Proteas skipper Faf du Plessis won the toss and elected to bat. They lost just two wickets as they posted 266 runs from 50 overs. Pakistan overhauled the total with five balls to spare, as they won the game by 5 wickets.
It was the top order’s runs from the Men in Green that won them the match. Opener Imam-ul-Haq scored 86 while No. 4 batsman Mohammed Hafeez scored 71 from 63 balls. Hafeez was adjudged the Man of the Match.
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Good performances needed to win 2019 World Cup
Veteran all-rounder Shoaib Malik believes that his team has a good chance of lifting the 2019 World Cup. The mega tournament will be held in England and Wales in May-July. Malik will be turning 37 on February 1 and he is willing to make his last World Cup memorable.
In an interview to Sky Sports, Malik said:
I feel we have a very good chance to win the tournament. But then having a ‘good chance’ doesn’t mean much. How we play each game and how we perform against the rest of the world will define how far we go.
However Malik didn’t perform well in the first ODI with the bat. He scored just 12 off 17 balls during the chase in Port Elizabeth. His knock included just one boundary.
Malik went on saying, “Yes, we have the ability to win the World Cup hands-down, but abilities don’t win you anything, performances do. Our capabilities include having top ODI bowlers and batsmen in our line-up and personally I’m looking forward to a memorable World Cup 2019.”
In ODI cricket, Shoaib Malik has more than 7,000 runs and 150 wickets. He also showered praises on the Pakistani batsman Babar Azam. Malik said that Babar is a world-class batsman and has all types of shots in his cricketing book.
Moreover Babar knows how to value his wicket. He has a lot of mental strength and has hunger for more success. The 24-year-old Babar Azam is one of few Pakistani batsmen who has performed well in the South Africa tour. Babar hit crucial 49 runs in the first ODI as well.
Regarding his retirement Malik said that his decision is not related to fitness issues. However he would take that factor into account. Pakistan last played in the final of World Cup in 1999, where they lost the title clash to Australia.