Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
Former Pakistan left-arm spinner Iqbal Qasim has admitted that he was not impressed with the national team’s wins over New Zealand and Afghanistan as he felt they could have finished the games off a lot earlier.
Pakistan beat New Zealand by six wickets with five balls to spare at Edgbaston, while they narrowly defeated Afghanistan by three wickets with two balls to spare at Headingley on Saturday.
However, with the net run rate being so important in the World Cup right now as many teams are vying for a spot in the semi-finals, Qasim feels that Pakistan should have won their matches against New Zealand and Afghanistan in quicker time.
“I am surprised why Pakistan is solely relying on miracles and prayers of the entire nation for winning very easy matches, which they have won [with the] utmost difficulty,” he told The Nation. “First, they should have easily beaten New Zealand with at least five overs to spare as they had a lot of wickets in hand, but the set batsmen kept on consuming precious deliveries and in the end, Pakistan had to struggle hard to win the match.
“By winning matches in the last overs, they didn’t get the much-needed boost in run rate. Now the situation is heading towards the crucial aspect that will be the [net] run rate. If the points of New Zealand are same after the last league round matches, then run rate will matter, but the team management didn’t pay any heed towards this vital factor.
“I can’t understand why Pakistan and the entire nation [are] expecting favours from India or any other team. We have to earn a place in the semi-final, rather than expecting others to help us. We must perform on the field. We could have restricted Afghanistan to less than 150, but Sarfraz (Ahmed) failed to go all-out attack and missed the trick.
“If one team plays [their] full quota of overs, it is bound to score a total well beyond 200 runs. Why didn’t Sarfaz apply pressure and why did he keep the main bowlers out of the attack. Had Amir and Wahab [been] introduced earlier, they could have blown away Afghanistan with their pace and swinging deliveries.
“What was the purpose of introducing Hafeez? There is dire need to utilize all the options very carefully if Pakistan wants to qualify for the semi-finals.
“I don’t know why spinners were in the side. Everybody was aware of the Headingley track, which was hard and Afghanistan are [not] known for playing fast bowlers well. Short-pitched deliveries are their weakest link.”
Pakistan now have to beat Bangladesh at Lord’s on Friday and hope that New Zealand beat England on Wednesday as that will secure them a spot in the last four.