As Pakistan inches closer to the World Cup semi-finals, team director Mickey Arthur seeks divine intervention while he showers praise on the “game-changing” opener, Fakhar Zaman.
In a stunning comeback, Pakistan secured consecutive victories over Bangladesh and New Zealand, reigniting their World Cup campaign. Fakhar Zaman, who returned from a knee injury, played a pivotal role, scoring 81 and a blistering 126 not out in just 81 balls against the Kiwis. With eight points from as many games, Pakistan faces a crucial task: they must defeat England in their upcoming match in Kolkata on Saturday and hope for New Zealand’s loss to Sri Lanka in Bengaluru two days earlier, or that the match is washed out.
The pressure is on, as Afghanistan also remains in contention, depending on the outcomes of their last two matches.
The road to the semifinals remains uncertain, but Arthur remains hopeful, saying, “I have a real feeling we’re going to get to the semi-finals, but let’s see what happens. What we do know is that it will be in our hands coming Saturday. With a little bit of divine help, we can get to the semi-final, but we have to play well.”
If Pakistan qualifies, they could potentially set up a thrilling clash with arch-rivals India for a place in the final on November 16 in Kolkata.
Mickey Arthur also praised the pivotal role played by Fakhar Zaman, stating, “Since Fakhar has come in, he has just been unbelievable. Sometimes in campaigns like this, it takes something to just ignite it, and Fakhar certainly ignited that for us.”
Arthur emphasized the importance of keeping Zaman in top form, saying, “He changes games whenever he bats, the longer he bats, the more dominant we become. So, it is really important for us that we keep Fakhar in this type of form and take it into the game against England.”