is being saved by a team director who is seeking divine intervention
Mickey Arthur, the team director of Pakistan, prayed for “divine help” as the 1992 winners prepared for a final push to make it into the 2023 Cricket World Cup semifinals.
The competition for the semifinal spots has heated up. Afghanistan, Pakistan, and New Zealand are the three teams with eight points after as many games. This is going to be the final game for the three-side, with only one berth remaining in the top four. If the opposition is ahead on run-rate, even a victory might not be sufficient. Before heaping praise on “game-changing” opener Fakhar Zaman, Pakistan team director Mickey Arthur pleaded for “divine help” on Monday as the 1992 winners prepared for a final push to make it into the World Cup semi-finals. With Zaman returning from a knee injury to smash 81 and then a scorching 81-ball 126 not out against the Kiwis, Pakistan won their last two matches against Bangladesh and New Zealand to rekindle their campaign.
Pakistan has to win their final game against England in Kolkata on Saturday, but they also need to hope that New Zealand loses to Sri Lanka in Bengaluru two days earlier, or that the match is called off. Pakistan has eight points from as many games.
Depending on the outcome of the most recent game, Afghanistan may also defeat Pakistan.
After leading Pakistan for a period of time between 2016 and 2019, Arthur stated, “Who knows how we are going to go in this competition.”
“We should make it to the semi-finals, in my opinion, but let’s wait and see. We are certain that it will be in our possession by Saturday.
“We can make it to the semifinals with a little bit of divine intervention, but we still need to play well. I believe we only ever played the perfect game once, against Bangladesh.”
If Pakistan does make it to the final, they’ll probably set up a tantalising matchup with bitter rivals India in Kolkata on November 16 in order to advance Arthur praised Zaman’s game-winning performances.The 33-year-old left-hander Fakhar has been “just unbelievable” since joining the team, according to Arthur.
“In campaigns such as this one, it sometimes takes something to merely light the spark, and Fakhar definitely did that for us.
“We are aware that he is remarkable when performing well. Fakhar has always had my utmost support because I believe he has the ability to alter games.”
In an attempt to defeat New Zealand, which had been lowered from a difficult 402-run target to 342 in 41 overs due to rain, Zaman got his team up to 200-1 before the match was abandoned with Pakistan 21 runs ahead of the DLS system.
In his 11th ODI hundred, Zaman struck eight boundaries and eleven sixes—his first century in two World Cups.
It goes without saying that Fakhar entering the side gave us new life. It was difficult at first to be without him. His performance was a touch inconsistent going into the tournament.”
Before being benched, Zaman scored just 65 runs in four Asia Cup games and 12 World Cup matches against the Netherlands.
Then, in the middle of the Twenty20 World Cup in Australia last year, he suffered a recurrence of a knee ailment that prompted him to retire.
“He (Zaman) changes games whenever he bats, the longer he bats the more dominant we become,” Arthur added.
“So, it is really important for us that we keep Fakhar in this type of form and it’s really important that he takes this form and aggression and precision with his batting into the game against England.”
Although England has lost six of their last seven games, Arthur insisted that his squad must play at its highest level against the English.
“Let’s hope we are saving ourselves for a batting, bowling and fielding performance against England and then what will be, will be.”