Pakistan defeated Sri Lanka to qualify for the semi-final of the ICC Champions Trophy 2017. It was a match that swung liked a pendulum. Initially, it looked like Pakistan would march to the semi-finals in a canter but that is when they lost consecutive wickets to nearly lose the match. It was Sarfraz Ahmed who played a captain’s knock with Mohammad Amir to see Pakisan through to the semi-finals with a partnership of 75. But something seems to be upsetting former Pakistan cricketer Shahid Afridi. He retired not so long ago, but recently Afridi wrote in his column for cricket.com.au. It seems Shahid Afridi is not sure of Pakistan’s chances ahead of the semi-final clash against England. If Pakistan have to progress it cannot be a one-man show, others will have to stand up and deliver.
He said, “The fact of the matter is that despite a heroic victory, Pakistan had to once again rely on individual brilliance to pull the team out of the doldrums. There were no demons in the Sophia Gardens pitch, yet Pakistan crumbled in a heap after a blazing start by Fakhar Zaman and Azhar Ali.”
“Pakistan’s senior men need to come to the party if they are to score a win. Sarfraz handled the pressure magnificently although he was incredibly lucky with two dropped chances – especially the one put down by Thisara Perera off Lasith Malinga which broke the Sri Lankan spirit.” added the 37-year old.
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“One of them needed to carry the burden today and take the team past the victory target. Unfortunately both fell in quick succession while Azhar Ali also failed to make use of a fine start, which put the lower-order under enormous stress.” pointed out Afridi.
Pakistan have given away or lost matches from winning positions because of complacency and they need to be wary of that.