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Semi-final Hopes Still Alive for Imad Despite India defeat

Pakistan are facing the equivalent of four Cup finals to reach the semi-finals of the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup but all-rounder Imad Wasim is refusing to give up hope of a place in the last four.

Welsh-born Imad put in an impressive personal display even though his side went down by 89 runs via the DLS method to India in front of a vibrant sell-out crowd at Old Trafford.

The cause was all but lost by the time Imad arrived at the crease, but his spirited 46 not out from 39 balls in an innings disrupted by rain may yet prove important if net run rate comes in to play later in the tournament.

On his return to the side, Imad also earned praise from captain Sarfaraz Ahmed for his relatively tight bowling, not least because he found himself in action when openers Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul were set, then later with Virat Kohli close to his fluent best.

In difficult circumstances, Imad can only adopt a down-to-earth assessment of Pakistan’s prospects with the group stage approaching the halfway stage and only three points on the board so far.

“This was a really, really disappointing result for us,” he said. “When we came back on after the rain there was very little we could do, but we know we have four matches left and if we win those, we still have a chance.

“Results of the other countries may come into play. From our point of view, we can only do what we can. What is in our hands is to try to win all four games and take it from there.”

Imad, 30, played in the first game against West Indies but was then omitted despite not bowling as their opponents chased down a target of 106.

He has staked a strong claim for the critical sequence ahead, starting with the game against South Africa at Lord’s next Sunday. They finish by taking on New Zealand, Afghanistan and finally Bangladesh on July 5.

Although he went wicketless against India, to contain some of the best players of spin in the world to 49 runs from his ten overs represented something of an achievement, but it was no fluke as an economy rate of 4.83 in 48 ODIs suggests.

Team changes over the tournament reflect the options available in the squad and Imad is taking a laid-back view to selection.

“That is not up to me, it is up to the captain and the coach,” he said.